Helen Johns (swimmer)

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Helen Johns
Personal information
Full name Helen Eileen Johns
Nationality  United States
Born (1914-09-25) September 25, 1914 (age 99)
East Boston, Massachusetts
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle
Club Brookline Women's Swimming Association
Boston Swimming Association

Helen Eileen Johns (born September 25, 1914), later Helen Carroll, is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder.


Though born in East Boston, Johns grew up in Medford, Massachusetts.[1]

At the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, Johns represented the United States at the age of 17.[2] She won a gold medal in the women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay with U.S. teammates Eleanor Garatti, Helene Madison and Josephine McKim.[2][3] The American women set a new world record in the event with a time of 4:38.0, beating teams from the Netherlands (silver) and Great Britain (bronze) by nine and fourteen seconds, respectively.[2][4]

In 1936, Johns graduated from Pembroke College, the former women's college of Brown University, with a bachelor's degree in psychology and economics.[5] She later received her master's degree in special education. In addition to coaching swimming, she became a special education teacher in the Sumter School District in Sumter, South Carolina in 1957 and retired from that position in 1980.

In 1996, Johns carried the Olympic torch for a stretch in the Olympic torch relay for the 1996 Summer Olympics. She was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame for her achievements as an Olympic swimmer in 2004.

Personal life[edit]

Johns married Eugene Carroll and moved to Sumter, South Carolina.[6] She has two daughters.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ At 97, Olympic female gold medalist savors role as pioneer
  2. ^ a b c Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Helen Johns. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, United States Swimming at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games, Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  5. ^ Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Inductee Details: Helen Johns (Carroll)
  6. ^ Downtown Sumter Business News May 2007 (Helen Carroll listed as member of the Main Street Society)

External links[edit]

  • Helen Johns – Olympic athlete profile at Sports-Reference.com
  • Helen Johns Olympic Games results at databaseOlympics.com