Helene Madison

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Helene Madison
Helene Madison and Johnny Weissmuller 1932.jpg
Madison (left) with Johnny Weissmuller at 1932 Olympics
Personal information
Full name Helene Emma Madison
National team  United States
Born (1913-06-19)June 19, 1913
Madison, Wisconsin
Died November 27, 1970(1970-11-27) (aged 57)
Seattle, Washington
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
Club Washington Athletic Club

Helene Emma Madison (June 19, 1913 – November 27, 1970) was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder.

Madison won three gold medals in freestyle event at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, becoming, along with Romeo Neri of Italy, the most successful athlete at the 1932 Olympics: women's 100-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle, and 4×100-meter freestyle relay.[1]

In sixteen months in 1930 and 1931, she broke sixteen world records in various distances. Following the 1932 Olympics she appeared in the films The Human Fish and The Warrior's Husband and hence, as a professional, was not allowed to participate in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. After her swimming career, she had odd jobs as a swimming instructor, department store clerk and a nurse. Divorced three times and living alone, she died of throat cancer in 1970 in Seattle, Washington.[2]

She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1966, and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1992.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Helene Madison. Sports-Reference.com
  2. ^ International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Helene Madison (USA). Retrieved April 7, 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Martha Norelius
Women's 1,500-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)

July 15, 1931 – June 26, 1936
Succeeded by
Grete Frederiksen