Charlotte Boyle and Ethleda Bleibtrey (right)
|Full name||Ethelda Marguerite Bleibtrey|
February 27, 1902|
Waterford, New York
|Died||May 6, 1978
West Palm Beach, Florida
|Club||Women's Swimming Association|
Ethelda Marguerite Bleibtrey (February 27, 1902 – May 6, 1978) was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in multiple events.
Bleibtrey was a dominant backstroke swimmer, but entered and won gold medals in three freestyle events when there were no women's backstroke events at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. She won a gold medal as member of the winning U.S. team in the women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay, together with teammates Margaret Woodbridge, Frances Schroth and Irene Guest. The American relay team set a new world record of 5:11.6 in the event final. Individually, Bleibtrey also received gold medals and set world records in the women's 100-meter freestyle (1:13.6) and the women's 300-meter freestyle (4:34.0).
She was born in Waterford, New York. She started swimming to help recover from polio, which she contracted in 1917. In 1919, she was arrested for "nude swimming" — she removed her stockings at a pool where it was forbidden to bare "the lower female extremities for public bathing." The subsequent public support for Bleibtrey led to the abandonment of stockings as a conventional element in women's swimwear.
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (women)
- World record progression 100 metres freestyle
- World record progression 400 metres freestyle
- World record progression 4 × 100 metres freestyle relay
- Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Ethelda Bleibtrey. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, United States Swimming at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games, Women's 100 metres Freestyle Final. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games, Women's 300 metres Freestyle Final. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- "Ethelda Bleibtrey," Encyclopædia Britannica (2012). Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Ethelda Bleibtrey (USA). Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Floyd Conner, The Olympic's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Gold Medal Gaffes, Improbable Triumphs, and Other Oddities, Brassey's (2002). ISBN 1-57488-413-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ethelda Bleibtrey.|
- Ethelda Bleibtrey – Olympic athlete profile at Sports-Reference.com
- Ethelda Bleibtrey (USA) – Honor Swimmer profile at International Swimming Hall of Fame
|Women's 100-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)
August 23, 1920 – June 30, 1923