Aileen Riggin

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Aileen Riggin
Aileen Riggin 1920.jpg
Aileen Riggin in 1920
Personal information
Full name Aileen Muriel Riggin
Nationality  United States
Born (1906-05-02)May 2, 1906
Newport, Rhode Island
Died October 19, 2002(2002-10-19) (aged 96)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Height 4 ft 8 in (1.42 m)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Backstroke, springboard
Club Women's Swimming Association

Aileen Riggin Soule (May 2, 1906 – October 19, 2002)[1] was an American competition swimmer and diver and Olympic champion.

Born in Newport, Rhode Island, she learned to swim at the age of 6, in Manila Bay, and she first started diving in 1919. She competed at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium in the women's springboard diving and won a gold medal, becoming America's youngest ever gold medallist at that time, later surpassed by Marjorie Gestring. She was also America's smallest Olympic winner, at only 4 feet 8 inches (1.42 m) and 65 pounds (29 kg).[1] She later competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, and became the only woman to win medals in both diving and swimming;[2] the silver medal in springboard diving and the bronze medal in the 100 meter backstroke.

Riggin won three AAU outdoor and one indoor springboard titles, as well as two swimming relay titles. In 1926, After making the first underwater films and the first slow-motion coaching films for Grantland Rice, she retired from competitions and helped organize exhibitions related to aquatic activities all around the world. Later she made several films in Hollywood, became a successful journalist, and married, changing her name to Howard Soule.[1]

She moved to Hawaii in 1957 with her husband, and in 1967 she was inducted in the Swimming Hall of Fame. She also helped found the Hawaii Senior Games Association. As a result of her fund raising and motivational presentations, she received further accolades in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1988.

Aileen died in Honolulu, Hawaii of natural causes. At the time of her death she was the last surviving Olympic Champion from the 1920 Olympic Games.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lennartz, Karl (January 2003). "Aileen Riggin (1906-2002)". Journal of Olympic History 11 (1): 66.  gives her date of death as 19 October.
  2. ^ European Swimming Site: Fact of the Day. Insweep. October 8, 1999

External links[edit]

Aileen Riggin at the 1920 Olympics