ON THIS DAY: August 25

ON THIS DAY: August 25

ON THIS DAY IN TEENAGE HISTORY (1920), eighteen-year-old Ethelda Bleibtrey became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. The former polio victim from Waterford, New York, finished more than three seconds ahead of silver-medal-winner Irene Guest in the 100-meter freestyle, setting a world record. Bleibtrey also won gold medals and set world records in the 300-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. She is the only woman to have won every event open to her at an Olympic games, and she couldn’t even compete in her best event, the backstroke, which didn’t exist in women’s Olympic competition.

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