Vicki Draves

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Vicki Draves
Victoria Manalo Draves.jpg
Draves in 1948
Personal information
Full name Victoria Manalo Draves[1]
National team  United States
Born December 31, 1924
San Francisco, California[1]
Died April 11, 2010(2010-04-11) (aged 85)
Palm Springs, California[1]
Sport Diving
Club Los Angeles Athletic Club
Patterson School of Swimming and Diving[1]

Victoria Manalo Draves (December 31, 1924 – April 11, 2010) was an American competition diver who won gold medals for the United States in both platform and springboard diving in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.[2] Draves became the first woman to be awarded gold medals for both the ten-meter platform and the three-meter springboard.[3] Additionally, Draves became the first American woman to win two gold medals in diving.[4] She was born in San Francisco.[5]

Victoria Manalo was born to a Filipino father and an English mother. Her parents met and married in San Francisco.[5] She couldn't afford to take swimming lessons until she was 10 years old and took summer swimming lessons from the Red Cross, paying five cents admission to a pool in the Mission district.

Manalo met diving coach Phil Patterson, who convinced Draves to try her luck as a diver and she was a natural. She graduated from high school in 1942 and took a temporary civil service job in the port surgeon's office to add to the family’s meager income. With Patterson in the military during World War II, Victoria looked for a diving coach and found her future husband, Lyle Draves, whom she married in 1946.

Prior to competing in the 1948 Olympics, Draves won five United States diving championships.[1] Draves turned professional after the Olympics, joining Larry Crosby's "Rhapsody in Swimtime" aquatic show at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1948. She went on to appear in other shows and toured the U.S. and Europe with Buster Crabbe's "Aqua Parade."[2] She was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1969.[1]

In October 2006, a two-acre park (one acre each per gold medal) in San Francisco was named Victoria Manalo Draves Park in her honor. Draves and her husband lived in Palm Springs, California until her death on April 11, 2010,[6] aged 85, from pancreatic cancer aggravated by pneumonia. She was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City, California.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Litsky, Frank (April 29, 2010), "Victoria Manalo Draves, Olympic Champion Diver, Dies at 85", The New York Times 
  2. ^ a b McLellan, Dennis (April 29, 2010), "Victoria Manalo Draves dies at 85; Olympic gold medal diver", The Los Angeles Times 
  3. ^ Elliott Robert Barkan (1 January 2001). Making It in America: A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans. ABC-CLIO. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-57607-098-7. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Jonathan H. X. Lee; Kathleen M. Nadeau (2011). Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife. ABC-CLIO. p. 435. ISBN 978-0-313-35066-5. 
  5. ^ a b Elliott Robert Barkan; Roland L. Guyotte; Barbara M. Posadas (November 2012). "Filipinos and Filipino Americans, 1870-1940". Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration. ABC-CLIO. pp. 347–356. ISBN 978-1-59884-219-7. 
  6. ^ Smith, Terria (April 23, 2010), "Olympic diver Victoria Draves dies", The Desert Sun 
  7. ^ "Victoria "Vicki" Draves". Olympic Athlete. Find a Grave. April 23, 2010. 

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