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swimsb
May 24th, 2008, 09:50 PM
My friend just announced that her grandfather swam in the Olympics, when the swimming competion was done in the Hudson River. She is 40.

What does she mean by this? I don't think any Olympics were in NY, but could they have trained there? Or is she fibbing? :joker:

Just curious...SmartSwimmeroftheDay award to the person who knows!

That Guy
May 24th, 2008, 10:27 PM
The winter Olympics have been in Lake Placid twice... and as everyone knows, the polar bear swim has been part of every winter Olympics since 1783... :rofl:

knelson
May 24th, 2008, 10:43 PM
Or is she fibbing?

Sounds like at the very least she doesn't have her facts straight.

ALM
May 24th, 2008, 11:59 PM
Summer Olympics:

1896, Athens
1900, Paris
1904, St. Louis
1908, London
1912, Stockholm
1916, Berlin, Germany cancelled due to World War I
1920, Antwerp, Belgium
1924, Paris, France
1928, Amsterdam
1932, Los Angeles
1936, Berlin
1940, Tokyo, Japan → Helsinki, Finland cancelled due to World War II
1944, London cancelled due to World War II
1948, London
1952, Helsinki
1956, Melbourne
1960, Rome
1964, Tokyo
1968, Mexico City
1972, Munich

nyswimmer
May 25th, 2008, 12:35 AM
Could she (or her grandfather) have been referring to the Olympic Trials? I believe they've been held in New York at least once (1964?).

aquageek
May 25th, 2008, 07:35 AM
Boy, you've come to the right place for this type of inquiry. If your friend is 40 her grandfather is probably pretty old, at least 80 probably,or roughly 25 years younger than our resident hisortian, geochuck. That would most likely put him in the LA, Amsterdam, London, Berlin era. Seems fishy to me. Maybe there was something in the Hudson but doesn't seem probable it was the Olympics or the Trials. He could have been in the Olympics and they did some sort of publicity thing in the Hudson, you never know.

Leonard Jansen
May 25th, 2008, 09:10 AM
Obviously, if you get his full name, it would be easy to find out if he ever was on the OG.

That aside, keep in mind that grandparents sometimes tell kids things in jest that the kids take seriously. My maternal grandfather used to tell me that my grandmother used to hunt buffalo with Buffalo Bill. Keep in mind that she never lived more than 15 miles from NYC. I told some of my friends this and a minor kid-urban-legend flourished in Morris Plains, NJ for awhile in the 1960's.

-LBJ

Michael Heather
May 25th, 2008, 09:37 AM
There is a major issue of people not really knowing the difference between the Olympic Games and any other athletic competition. Just because your apartment building advertises an "olympic" sized pool does not make it so. I swam in the senior olympics back when they were still called that. Does that make me an olympian? No, and I do not present myself as one.

quicksilver
May 25th, 2008, 09:40 AM
Out of curiosity, I had to look this up. I grew up on the banks of the Hudson after we relocated from California. The water back in the 1960's and 70's was badly polluted with PCB's, so swimming was always off limits. But it appears that back in the earlier part of last century, they did in fact hold swimming competitions.

August 19, 1928, Sunday
Hudson River Swim Captured By Nolan
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00D13F93B5E157A93CBA81783D85F4C 8285F9

July 14, 1912, Sunday
Brooklyn Boy Wins Hudson River Swim
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B05E5DD123CE633A25757C1A9619C94 6396D6CF

nyswimmer
May 25th, 2008, 10:21 AM
Out of curiosity, I had to look this up. I grew up on the banks of the Hudson after we relocated from California. The water back in the 1960's and 70's was badly polluted with PCB's, so swimming was always off limits. But it appears that back in the earlier part of last century, they did in fact hold swimming competitions.

August 19, 1928, Sunday
Hudson River Swim Captured By Nolan
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00D13F93B5E157A93CBA81783D85F4C 8285F9

July 14, 1912, Sunday
Brooklyn Boy Wins Hudson River Swim
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B05E5DD123CE633A25757C1A9619C94 6396D6CF

Umm -- they hold competitions in the Hudson now. There was one yesterday (the Lady Liberty Swim) and of course the Manhattan Island Marathon (not that I've ever been in any).

quicksilver
May 25th, 2008, 12:00 PM
Haven't been to the city in a very long while. But yes they have many OW events there.
I'm not sure I'd want to venture into it. No matter how clean they say it is these days.

Here's a trivia question...where did the name for the "Red Tide" Masters Swim Team come from? :)

nyswimmer
May 25th, 2008, 12:41 PM
Haven't been to the city in a very long while. But yes they have many OW events there.
I'm not sure I'd want to venture into it. No matter how clean they say it is these days.

Here's a trivia question...where did the name for the "Red Tide" Masters Swim Team come from? :)

Ohhh, I know! I know! But it's a secret. Actually, Foster de Jesus, the coach who started the team around 1983, told me that it's a play on naming teams after predatory fish (sharks, barracuda) -- since red tides (the algae overgrowth) were in the news at the time, he thought it would be cool to name it after "predatory" algae. There are some other versions around, though. :dunno:

By the way, I don't do the Hudson swims either, but mostly because they're all longer than 100 meters. I'm told by people who have done them that the water's really OK. :)

quicksilver
May 25th, 2008, 01:26 PM
Thanks. Red tide is kind of ominous looking. I figured the name had something to do with the rivers.
And speaking of ominous, so is their swim club (The Red Tide), there must be a couple of hundred or more.


Not sure if it turns this red in the Hudson River, but swimming in murky water doesn't hold too much appeal.
Thank goodness for pools.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:La-Jolla-Red-Tide.780.jpg

swimsb
May 26th, 2008, 09:22 AM
Thanks to those who responded so far.

Maybe since he is from NY, he trained there and did some Hudson River competitions. But from my research, and your input, it is clear that in the history of the Olympic swimming events, all were held in POOLS, right?

If she brings it up again, I'll ask what year he was on the Olympic team. I don't have his full name for verification purposes :D. The conversation occured because she was bragging about her 4yo daughter who is such an "amazing swimmer" that it "must be in the genes" because her grandfather was in the Olympics blah blah.

Bill Volckening
May 26th, 2008, 10:46 AM
...in the history of the Olympic swimming events, all were held in POOLS, right?

Depends on how you define the word pool.

...some notes from the Five Fast Facts column in the May/June SWIMMER:

At the 1900 Olympics in Paris, events took place in the Seine and ran with the current.

At the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, swimming took place in waters held within a man-made structure originally created as a network of boating lagoons for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

The 1908 London Olympics featured a 100-meter pool inside a huge stadium used for other sports such as rugby and track and field.

Leonard Jansen
May 28th, 2008, 07:29 AM
Haven't been to the city in a very long while. But yes they have many OW events there.
I'm not sure I'd want to venture into it. No matter how clean they say it is these days.

I've done some of these and I must say that I was surprised at how clean the water was. I'd much rather swim in the Hudson or East River than in the Chesapeake Bay. Now, the Harlem River is a slightly different story...

-LBJ

patrick
May 28th, 2008, 05:57 PM
I did a considerable amount of research on NYC swimming history when putting together a bid to operate a pool in Queens. In the early 1900's many swimmers did train in the Hudson and other bodies of water in the area, though not exclusively they also swam in pools--namely Olympians Charlie Daniels, David Bratton, and David Hesser.

One of the more vexing items that I've seen re-printed many times is the stat that Gertrude Ederle broke 7 World Records in one afternoon in 1922 at Brighton Beach in one 500 meter swim. I have never found any back up to this and having been out there many times with my swimmers we are confounded on just what she did--swim buoy to buoy? It certainly isn't pier to pier that's a half mile. And what 7 records were broken during the same swim? 100, 200, 220, 400? Which leads to the assumption that they counted record swims in the open water (actually ocean).

This may be something for Geochuck and Frank Thompson to decipher.

quicksilver
May 28th, 2008, 06:04 PM
George may crossed paths with her...in the Channel.
http://www.answers.com/topic/gertrude-ederle

geochuck
May 28th, 2008, 07:55 PM
I have come accross lots of stuff on her, there may be some items in an old book that I have at home. I have seen her named in this book. Her name is mentioned in Wind Waves and Sunburn also but it is not complete. I will check with Patty Thompson my coach's daughter also. Jimmy Thompson had books and articles about everyone and she has these books. He had records on Corky Kellam the first guy o swim the Mississippi and no one even knows about Corky.

If you search out Easter Williams there may be something their as well.

Sorry I am not at home and have no access to a bunch of stuff that I have.

There may also be some stuff on the Solo Swim site.

I did meet her at the Canadian National Exhibition they had her and Earnest Verkotter there.

ALM
May 28th, 2008, 08:53 PM
One of the more vexing items that I've seen re-printed many times is the stat that Gertrude Ederle broke 7 World Records in one afternoon in 1922 at Brighton Beach in one 500 meter swim. I have never found any back up to this and having been out there many times with my swimmers we are confounded on just what she did--swim buoy to buoy? It certainly isn't pier to pier that's a half mile. And what 4 records were broken during the same swim? 100, 200, 220, 400? Which leads to the assumption that they counted record swims in the open water (actually ocean).

Write to the ISHOF and ask them. www.ishof.org

They've got an extensive library of old newspaper clippings and other swimming-related publications.

geochuck
May 28th, 2008, 08:54 PM
Don't say any one is fibbing, that person could have the facts wrong or it could be true.

I have met a couple of people who told me they were Olympians. The one guy told me he won the 100m free in 1956, I was there and knew that was not true but I found out later he was a British Olympic Waterpolo Player who taught swimming and did a little tall talking.

On the other hand I came into a conversation where a swimmer from my own swim club was telling everyone she was an Olympian in 1956, it was 3 years ago in Mexico at a bar. Her jaw dropped a mile when she found out who I was. I had not seen her for 50 years she sure got off the suject in a hurry. I was very nice and did not out her.

Olympics are dreams that many have, they wish had happened and there mouths get in the way. I almost wish I was not an Olympian, a fellow worker of mine used to say he was me. He got a girl pregnant and she reported to my boss that I had done the deed until she met me and she said that's not George Park.

As J Miller says DREAMS.


My friend just announced that her grandfather swam in the Olympics, when the swimming competion was done in the Hudson River. She is 40.

What does she mean by this? I don't think any Olympics were in NY, but could they have trained there? Or is she fibbing? :joker:

Just curious...SmartSwimmeroftheDay award to the person who knows!

geochuck
May 30th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Gertrude Ederle had an eight beat kick.

Syd
May 30th, 2008, 08:05 PM
Gertrude Ederle had an eight beat kick.
George, I just love it when you come up with statements like this!

Who is Gertrude Ederle and what has she got to do with this thread?:help:

patrick
May 30th, 2008, 08:36 PM
Syd!

In NYC, Gertrude is still the It girl

Quiksilver posted her bio
http://www.answers.com/topic/gertrude-ederle

She was the first person to successfully swim the English Channel and an Olympic Gold Medalist from the 20s.

George:
Besides having an eight beat kick she also had some pluck--the water temp at Brighton Beach right now is 55 degrees. That's the beach where she trained often. I had a swimmer spend 90 minutes in the ocean last Saturday--he's swimming the Channel this August. She also has a swim named after her--it goes from the tip of Manhattan to Sandy Hook NJ--17 miles, last year was the inaugural swim. If you don't work the front part of the race the current sets in and you may end up in Staten Island.

Ederle Swim
http://www.nycswim.org/Event/Event.aspx?Event_ID=1811

Gertrude in 3 paragraphs
At the 1924 Summer Olympics, she won a gold medal as a part of the US 400-meter freestyle relay team and bronze medals for finishing third in the 100-meter and 400-meter freestyle races.

In 1925, Ederle swam a 21-mile crossing across Lower New York Bay, from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, taking over seven hours. Later that year, she made her first attempt at swimming the Channel, but she was disqualified when a trainer grabbed her after she began coughing.

Her famous cross-channel swim began at Cap Gris-Nez in France at 07:05 on the morning of August 6, 1926. Fourteen hours and 30 minutes later, she came ashore at Kingsdown, England. Her record stood until Florence Chadwick swam the channel in 1950 in 13 hours and 20 minutes.

Syd
May 31st, 2008, 01:31 AM
Thanks for that info Patrick. I thought George was taking the Mickey out of us again!

Syd


Syd!

In NYC, Gertrude is still the It girl

Quiksilver posted her bio
http://www.answers.com/topic/gertrude-ederle

She was the first person to successfully swim the English Channel and an Olympic Gold Medalist from the 20s.

George:
Besides having an eight beat kick she also had some pluck--the water temp at Brighton Beach right now is 55 degrees. That's the beach where she trained often. I had a swimmer spend 90 minutes in the ocean last Saturday--he's swimming the Channel this August. She also has a swim named after her--it goes from the tip of Manhattan to Sandy Hook NJ--17 miles, last year was the inaugural swim. If you don't work the front part of the race the current sets in and you may end up in Staten Island.

Ederle Swim
http://www.nycswim.org/Event/Event.aspx?Event_ID=1811

Gertrude in 3 paragraphs
At the 1924 Summer Olympics, she won a gold medal as a part of the US 400-meter freestyle relay team and bronze medals for finishing third in the 100-meter and 400-meter freestyle races.

In 1925, Ederle swam a 21-mile crossing across Lower New York Bay, from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, taking over seven hours. Later that year, she made her first attempt at swimming the Channel, but she was disqualified when a trainer grabbed her after she began coughing.

Her famous cross-channel swim began at Cap Gris-Nez in France at 07:05 on the morning of August 6, 1926. Fourteen hours and 30 minutes later, she came ashore at Kingsdown, England. Her record stood until Florence Chadwick swam the channel in 1950 in 13 hours and 20 minutes.

Ripple
May 31st, 2008, 09:40 AM
Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the channel. The first person was Captain Matthew Webb.
http://www.dover.gov.uk/museum/resource/swim/swim1.asp

geochuck
May 31st, 2008, 10:16 AM
Syd you will know when I am joking. Earnest Verkotter a great Channel swimmer was in my escort launch for the race accross Lake Ontario in 1964. They called him the Black Shark even though he was a white man. I should have asked why they called him that.


There are several paragraph about her in the book Wind Waves and Sunburn.
Pages 57 to page 61, trells about her exploits.

At 13 she joined the Womens Swimming Association. At 14 she won the New York Bay 3 mile swim.

She struggled with back problems in later life.

FindingMyInnerFish
May 31st, 2008, 01:20 PM
Doesn't really answer the question originally asked, but I thought I'd recommend a fascinating book I just finished reading, "The Great Swim" by Mortimer Gavin. It details the efforts by several women including Ederle, although focusing most attention on Ederle, to swim the English Channel.

I hadn't realized just how popular and influential marathon swimming had become and how much these women contributed to women's swimming--and women's athletics in general.

But a sad note was that for some time after Ederle's swim, she was exploited, then forgotten. She had an accident--fell down some steps--and no one thought she'd be able to walk unaided or to swim. She'd fallen into a depression but then recovered and taught herself to walk and to swim again, then to teach deaf children to swim (her hearing, already not good, had declined after her Channel swim). To me, that kind of courage is probably equal to what she accomplished in the Channel, amazing as that was--the daily task of making a dignified life for herself after the media adopted new "darlings."

Anyway, a really absorbing book that I'd recommend even if you're not a swimming history buff--because of the personalities and politics as well as the endurance and courage of the swimmers.

But as to the original question... the friend's uncle may or may not have actually been in the Olympics... but it's always possible that if she heard the stories as a youngster, memories can sometimes run together: i.e., he could have been in the Olympics and also done swims in the Hudson, but she may then have remembered these events as being simultaneous.

Peter Cruise
May 31st, 2008, 01:41 PM
Interesting change in cultural values and perspectives. Marathon swimming, esp. the accomplishment of channel swims etc. used to be a very big deal media-wise; however, the coverage today of such things as hot dog eating contests, poker etc. dwarfs any media interest in this sport.

patrick
May 31st, 2008, 02:04 PM
Ripple:
thanks for the correction on Captain Webb!

Finding my Inner Fish
Perhaps he was a water polo player or was in a non aquatic sport? My grandfather swam in Hudson as a youngster--so yes these swims did occur

Peter
I think long distance swims are coming back--look at the explosion in Marathon running which used to be unique. We may now have a resurgence in open water swims, the number of English Channel swims is relatively low, now people are doing the Cook Strait, Gibralter, and the renewed Ederle/New York Harbor swim.

George
Lake Ontario can be a rough swim--I recall John Kinsella's tale of choppy waves. Did you ever swim in Lake Superior? I went in once to my knees and turned back--too cold!

knelson
May 31st, 2008, 02:52 PM
Did you ever swim in Lake Superior? I went in once to my knees and turned back--too cold!

I used to swim in Superior. My grandparents lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and we'd swim in the lake when we visited in the summer. Even in the middle of the summer I remember it as being pretty icy!

geochuck
May 31st, 2008, 03:57 PM
Lake Ontario can be an easy swim or a deadly swim. Kinsella was lucky it was a good day and the water was warm all the way accross. He had everthing going his way. The wind direction was perfect for his swim. He is right very choppy waves.

The waves in Lake Ontario are very close together (very Choppy) and I have had the water disappear from under me and you can fall 10 or 15 feet back into the water. The lake is a very deep lake, I have seen the temperature drop from 74 degrees to 38 degrees on the hottest days of summer. All you need is an off shore breeze for a couple of hours and the temperature drops.

I have never raced in Lake Superior it can be cold but every time I trained in it it was nice and warm about 60 degrees. It gets rough there but different then the rough in Lake Ontario. But if you want rough, Lake Erie can be very rough but it is very shallow and the water is quite warm.

FindingMyInnerFish
May 31st, 2008, 04:38 PM
I did Outward Bound courses in Maine and in Minnesota that both involved getting into VERY cold water. In Maine, we'd run a couple miles, then jump off a pier about 12 feet or so above the water. People thought I was nuts when I said that was my favorite part of the day. But it took a lot less coordination to jump from that pier than to do most of the other stuff I had to do. And asking to go again was a great source of consternation to onlookers. ;)

I actually got to like the water temp and started to find seventy a little too warm. About a year after the Maine Outward Bound course, I went on a hiking vacation in the Maine/NH area (the kinder gentler breed of "camping"--relaxing in a bed at night). Some of the hikes involved stops for an invigorating dip in one of the ice cold ponds, and I was always the only adult female to take these dips.

None of these quick swims would be adequate preparation for anything more than maybe a mile of a cold open water swim, but they were so refreshing after being warmed up from hiking!

FindingMyInnerFish
May 31st, 2008, 04:43 PM
Quick English Channel question to add (again off the original subject, sorry... just my reading has made me curious): I notice that in 1926, according to Mortimer's book, swimmers were saying that it was more difficult to go from England to France than vice versa. But lately, I've been hearing that France to England is more difficult.

Why the change in opinion? Or is it just a matter of individual preference?

mattson
June 1st, 2008, 11:59 AM
But lately, I've been hearing that France to England is more difficult. Why the change in opinion?

I'm thinking its the quality of the food after the race. :bolt:
(Sorry, I had to...)

geochuck
June 1st, 2008, 02:14 PM
Just think a little, predominant winds are westerly.

Channell winds http://www.weatherweb.net/eastchannelwindgrid.htm

mctrusty
June 1st, 2008, 02:30 PM
I used to swim in Superior. My grandparents lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and we'd swim in the lake when we visited in the summer. Even in the middle of the summer I remember it as being pretty icy!

I regularly swam in Lake Superior when I was younger. It stayed pretty chilly year round. I grew up in Upper Michigan, about 15 miles from Marquette.

FindingMyInnerFish
June 1st, 2008, 07:22 PM
I'm thinking its the quality of the food after the race. :bolt:
(Sorry, I had to...)

:lolup:

But wasn't that always a consideration? ;)

George, thanks for the link! Just I've heard different opinions on which way is harder. Of course, having no personal experience in the matter, I might go with whoever serves me better :wine: when/if ever I were to arrive. :D (Will swim for wine....)

geochuck
June 1st, 2008, 08:36 PM
Of course I have never attempted the Channel. The prize money for the Butlin races was not worth the effort. My brother Tom did it twice. If you do not have the right boatmen. You just do not make it accross the channel witout that expert guide, someone who knows the tides.

My brother had sponsors that paid for his swims which made it worthwhile. He came second to Abou Heif in one of the races. He raced Abou about 20 times and that was the only race he lost to Abou Heif.

As far as food I prefer a Pizza and beer. Always go with the wind if you can.


:lolup:

But wasn't that always a consideration? ;)

George, thanks for the link! Just I've heard different opinions on which way is harder. Of course, having no personal experience in the matter, I might go with whoever serves me better :wine: when/if ever I were to arrive. :D (Will swim for wine....)

chaos
June 1st, 2008, 09:37 PM
I've done some of these and I must say that I was surprised at how clean the water was. I'd much rather swim in the Hudson or East River than in the Chesapeake Bay. Now, the Harlem River is a slightly different story...

-LBJ
ditto that leonard.
but i will be doing the chesapeake next week anyway!

Leonard Jansen
June 2nd, 2008, 08:44 PM
ditto that leonard.
but i will be doing the chesapeake next week anyway!

Good luck. I really don't care for that race too much, but to each their own. I hope to get in some races this summer (last summer was a disaster), but it's been a rough couple of years.

-LBJ

Leonard Jansen
June 2nd, 2008, 08:48 PM
Quick English Channel question to add (again off the original subject, sorry... just my reading has made me curious): I notice that in 1926, according to Mortimer's book, swimmers were saying that it was more difficult to go from England to France than vice versa. But lately, I've been hearing that France to England is more difficult.

Why the change in opinion? Or is it just a matter of individual preference?

I believe that most people consider France-England easier because the worst tidal effects are generally along the French coast. If you are going England-France, you have to deal with them at the end of the swim. There are numerous tales of people who have gotten to within a few hundred yards of the French shore and either never made it or had to swim several more hours until the tide changed. I remember reading that the French government had outlawed starting in France, so it's kind of moot.

-LBJ