Fighting the Current: The Rise of American Women's Swimming, 1870-1926

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McFarland, Aug 12, 2011 - Sports & Recreation - 220 pages
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In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first female to swim the English Channel--and broke the existing record time in doing so. Although today she is considered a pioneer in women's swimming, women were swimming competitively 50 years earlier. This historical book details the early period of women's competitive swimming in the United States, from its beginnings in the nineteenth century through Ederle's astonishing accomplishment. Women and girls faced many obstacles to safe swimming opportunities, including restrictive beliefs about physical abilities, access to safe and clean water, bathing suits that impeded movement and became heavy in water, and opposition from official sporting organizations. The stories of these early swimmers plainly show how far female athletes have come.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Safe Waters
3
2 Swimming Schools and Kate Bennett New Yorks Swimming Instructor Extraordinaire
15
3 Swimming for All
19
4 Swimming as Spectacle
29
5 The Rise of the Amateur Movement
40
6 International Waters
46
7 The WaterSafety Movement and the Volunteer Life Saving Corps
53
17 Famous Athletes
120
18 The 1924 Olympic Games
126
19 Gertrude Ederle
135
20 The English Channel
139
21 Training
142
22 Gone to Neptune
148
23 Suspicions and Facts
154
24 Turning Professional
159

8 Women and the Volunteer Life Saving Corps
61
9 Elaine Golding Rose Pitonof and the Rise of the Female Racer
69
10 The National Womens Life Saving League
78
11 Looking Towards the Olympic Games
82
12 Sullivans Last Stand
90
13 Women Enter the World of Amateur Athletics
94
14 The New York Womens Swimming Association
102
15 Championships and the Beginnings of International Competition
110
16 The 1920 Olympic Games
115
25 Try Try Again
162
26 The Channel Again
168
27 Victory
175
28 Homecoming
183
Notes
193
Bibliography
207
Index
211
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Lisa Bier is a librarian at Southern Connecticut State University.

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