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Shirley Babashoff

Full name: Shirley Frances Babashoff
Gender: Female
Height: 5-10 (178 cm)
Weight: 148 lbs (67 kg)
Born: January 31, 1957 in Whittier, California, United States
Affiliations: Mission Viejo Nadadores, Mission Viejo (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Swimming

Related Olympians: Sister of Jack Babashoff.

Medals: 3 Gold, 6 Silver (9 Total)

Biography

With a total of eight Olympic medals, Shirley Babashoff was the most successful U.S. woman Olympian prior to the 1990s. Although she never won an individual Olympic title she is recognized as one of the greatest of all freestyle swimmers. Babashoff set six world records in individual events and shared in a further five in relays. She also set 37 U.S. records (17 individual and 20 relay) and at one time held the U.S. freestyle record at every distance from 100m to 800m. Apart from her record-breaking ability, Shirley Babashoff had a fine competitive record in major championships, winning – including relays – 27 AAU titles in addition to taking the 200m and 400m individual gold medals at the 1975 World Championships. Her greatest performance ever came at the 1976 Olympic Trials when she won every freestyle event and the 400m individual medley. She set three U.S. records in the heats, three more in the finals, and broke the world record in the 800m freestyle. Not only was this her greatest performance ever, but it ranks among the great swimming feats of all time. Babashoff received some bad press in 1976 because she complained that the East German swimmers who defeated her, notably Kornelia Ender, were obviously using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, documents from the East German secret police, the Stasi, were found and confirmed Babashoff’s suspicions.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming Women's 100 metres Freestyle United States USA 2 Silver
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming Women's 200 metres Freestyle United States USA 2 Silver
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming Women's 400 metres Freestyle United States USA 4
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay United States USA 1 Gold WR
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming Women's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay United States USA 1 Gold OR
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming Women's 100 metres Freestyle United States USA 5
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming Women's 200 metres Freestyle United States USA 2 Silver
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming Women's 400 metres Freestyle United States USA 2 Silver
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming Women's 800 metres Freestyle United States USA 2 Silver
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay United States USA 1 Gold WR
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming Women's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay United States USA 2 Silver

Women's 100 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States Final 2 59.02
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU/OR 59.05
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States Round One Heat Four 1 QU 59.51
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Final 5 56.95
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Semi-Finals Heat Two 2 QU 56.95
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Round One Heat Four 1 QU 58.06

Women's 200 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States Final 2 2:04.33
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States Round One Heat Five 2 QU 2:08.48
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Final 2 2:01.22
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Round One Heat Five 1 QU 2:01.64

Women's 400 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States Final 4 4:23.59
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States Round One Heat Two 1 QU 4:31.98
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Final 2 4:10.46
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Round One Heat Four 1 QU 4:16.07

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Final 2 8:37.59
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States Round One Heat Three 1 QU 8:47.74

Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T IST CTAS
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States USA Final 1 WR 3:55.19 58.18 3:55.18
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States USA Final 1 WR 3:44.82 56.28 3:44.82

Women's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T IST CTAS
1972 Summer 15 München Swimming United States USA Round One Heat Two 1 QU/OR 4:27.57 59.08 4:27.57
1976 Summer 19 Montréal Swimming United States USA Final 2 4:14.55 56.11 4:14.55
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