Elaine Tanner

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Elaine Tanner
Personal information
Full name Elaine Tanner
Nickname(s) "Mighty Mouse"
National team  Canada
Born (1951-02-22) February 22, 1951 (age 65)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Height 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
Weight 61 kg (134 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Backstroke, butterfly, freestyle
Club Pacific Dolphins

Elaine Tanner-Watt, OC (born February 22, 1951) is a Canadian former competition swimmer. Olympic medallist, and former world record-holder in two events.


Nicknamed "Mighty Mouse"[1] partly because of her small stature (standing barely five feet tall) and partly due to her competitive drive, Tanner had a large impact on Canadian swimming and is considered one of the top performers in the sport.[2]

During the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, Tanner won four gold medals and three silvers, becoming the first woman to ever win four golds at a Commonwealth Games.[3] She won the Lou Marsh Trophy, recognizing her as Canada's best athlete in 1966 — the youngest person to ever receive the award — and was also selected as the country's top athlete overall.[4] The following year at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Tanner won two gold and three silver medals, breaking two world records in the process.[5] Tanner arrived at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City as a heavy medal favorite. She won three Olympic medals in Mexico City, including two individual silver medals and one relay bronze.[5] Suffering from depression, Tanner retired from competition after the 1968 Olympics at just 18 years of age.[5]

Awards and accolades[edit]

In 1969, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1971.[4] The Elaine Tanner Award has been presented to Canada’s top junior female athlete since 1972.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Tanner lives in White Rock, British Columbia, with her husband John Watt.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "If dancing in parks were an Olympic event...". The Globe and Mail. September 16, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Promise after a painful past". The Province. May 28, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Elaine Tanner profile at famouscanadianwomen.com". Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Canada Sports Hall of Fame Profile". Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "B.C.'s all-time sporting greats". The Vancouver Sun. November 18, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Elaine Tanner's life has come full circle". Oakville Beaver. March 28, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 

External links[edit]