Ederle broke 10 world records in 1926
Gertrude Ederle was the daughter of German immigrants and she was deaf from childhood due to measles. This didn’t stop her from swimming competitively!
When she was only twelve years old, she set the world record for the 880 meter freestyle!
After that, she participated in many competitions and successfully set eight more world records-including one at the Olympics in 1924 for the 4×100 meter freestyle relay.
Ederle also swam 22 miles in seven hours and eleven minutes-that was a world record at the time! She trained under Bill Burgess who had completed the English Channel swimming challenge to prepare. In 1926, she completed the English Channel challenge in 14 hours and 34 minutes, a world record.
That record was broken in 1950 by another swimmer; almost 30 years later!
To complete her swim, she wore motorcycle goggles to protect her eyes from the salty ocean water.
After completing the English Channel challenge, her hometown New York City hosted a parade for her and she met the United States President Coolidge.