|Full name||Susanne E. Laird|
July 18, 1908|
|Died||November 7, 1933
|Club||Carnegie Library Athletic Club|
Laird was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania, and was one of four girls, including Josephine McKim and Lenore Kight, who trained at the Carnegie Library Athletic Club under coach Jack Scarry to represent the United States as members of the Olympic swim team. She began swimming at age 14 on the advice of a physician after developing St. Vitus Dance. The doctor believed swimming as a daily exercise would help to cure her nervous condition.
Laird won her first championship in 1924 at Lake Elizabeth in Pittsburgh, completing the 50-yard freestyle in 32 seconds. She placed second in the 100 meters and third in the 300-yard medley at the 1926 Sesquicentennial in Philadelphia. That year, she went on to win the national 100-yard junior championship. In 1928 she qualified for the American Olympic Team, and traveled aboard the S.S. President Roosevelt to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for the 1928 Summer Olympics. Laird finished fifth in the 100 m freestyle event. She also helped the American relay team to qualify for the final of the 4×100 m freestyle relay competition as they set a new world record in the semi-finals. Laird did not swim in the finals, although she received a gold medal along with the American team as they went on to finish first.
After graduating from Temple University in 1930, Laird was appointed girls' coach and physical education instructor at Homestead High School, a position she held until her death from a rare blood disorder and subsequent pneumonia at age 25.
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (women)
- List of Temple University people
- World record progression 4 × 100 metres freestyle relay
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