Joan Harrison (swimmer)

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Joan Harrison
Joan Harrison 1950.jpg
Harrison in 1950
Personal information
Full name Joan Cynthia Harrison
Nationality  South Africa
Born (1935-11-29) 29 November 1935 (age 81)
East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Sport
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, backstroke
Club Springbok swimming team

Joan Cynthia Harrison (later Breetzke, born 29 November 1935) is a retired South African swimmer who won the 100 m backstroke event at the 1952 Olympics.[1]

Harrison's mother was a swimmer while her father played rugby. Aged 13, she held three junior and two senior national records, and two national senior swimming titles. In 1950, aged 14, she won the 440 yd freestyle at the British Empire Games, beating the previous games record by 13 seconds and finishing 7 seconds ahead of other competitors, and was declared the outstanding woman swimmer of the games. She won two more gold medals at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. In 1982 she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.[2]

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