First Woman To Swim The English Channel

First woman to successfully swim the English Channel, Gertrude Ederle.


Above is a picture from all the way back in 1926. Here we see, Gertrude Ederle standing in triumph upon the beach of Cape Griz-Nez in France. As we can see, she strikes a pose of victory because she has now officially become the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

A mere nineteen years old at the time, Ederle accomplishes a feat that many consider impossible unless you are a first rate swimmer. She was born in 1906 in New York City and quickly became one of the nation’s star athletes in the field of swimming. In 1924 during the Olympics held in Paris that year, she competed in the 4 x 100 meter relay, earning a gold medal for her country. At that same event she would go on to win bronze medals in the 100-meter and 400-meter relays, cementing her status as a champion swimmer. Despite these achievements of a lifetime, Ederle refused to stand around idle. She decided to break the swimming records of the world.

In the year of 1925, she became the first woman to swim all the way around New York Bay. So impressive was her time that it even broke the previously established men’s record for the same event. Her most prominent goal, however was to complete the famous challenge of being able to swim across the entire English Channel that separates England from France. This event is so notoriously difficult due in part to its tremendous 21 mile length, but also because it is a frigid and rough water way. Despite these obstacles, Ederle jumped at the opportunity and made history becoming the first woman to successfully cross it. She passed away in 2003 but is still remembered as one of the greatest swimmers of all time.