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Gertrude Ederle, First Woman to Swim the English Channel

March 12, 2018

Gertrude Ederle, First Woman to Swim the English Channel

Guest post by Deanna Straw

For Women’s History month, we are honoring one female athlete each week who through their leadership and athleticism, have blazed a trail for countless women to compete after them.

At age 23, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel and she did it faster than anyone before her. 14 hours and 31 minutes! 

“People said that women couldn’t swim the Channel, I proved they could.”

When Ederle successfully completed her Channel swim in 1926, she came to shore in England with a huge crowd cheering her success. And President Calvin Coolidge called her “America’s best girl.” She became an international icon at a time when female athletes were not taken very seriously.

Ederle always loved swimming. She called herself a “water baby.” But she developed a hearing problem when she was 5, after a bout with the measles. ''The doctors told me my hearing would get worse if I continued swimming, but I loved the water so much, I just couldn't stop,'' she said.

In the early 1920’s, before her Channel swim, Ederle competed at the highest levels of women’s swimming, smashing records everywhere she went. Between 1921 and 1925, she held 29 amateur and world records. She won gold and bronze medals as part of the US Olympic team in 1924.

The hearing problem Ederle had since childhood was made much worse by her Channel swim and continued to worsen throughout her life. Once finishing her professional swimming career after a back injury, she went on to teach swimming at the Lexington School for the Deaf, opening up this sport to another group of athletes.

Ederle was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in 1965.






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Size Chart

We pride ourselves on a superior fit. Use this chart to find the right size Superfits for you. 

It's all about the hips! Measure your hips at their widest point using a soft measuring tape.

If you are between sizes, we recommend the following. If your body is hourglass shaped, size down. If you are more apple or box-shaped, choose the larger size. 

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US SIZE 0 - 2
4 - 6
8 - 10
12 - 14
16 - 18
20 - 22
24 - 26
28 - 30
32 - 34
WAIST (inches)
23 - 27
27 - 30
30 - 33
33 - 36
36 - 40
40 - 45
46 - 51
52 - 56
56 - 60
HIPS (inches)
32 - 38
38 - 41
41 - 44
44 - 48
48 - 52
53 - 58
58 - 62
63 - 67
68 - 72


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Superfit Hero Size Chart Size XS - 5XL

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