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Bill Burgess

Full name: Thomas William "Bill" Burgess
Gender: Male
Height: 6-0.5 (185 cm)
Weight: 209 lbs (95 kg)
Born: June 15, 1872 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Great Britain
Died: July 5, 1950 in Paris, Paris, France
Affiliations: Libellule de Paris, Paris (FRA)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Swimming, Water Polo

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)

Biography

Bill Burgess was born in Lyndhurst Place, Rotherham, as the son of Alfred Burgess, a blacksmith, and Camilla Peat, a cook. In 1882 his father took up an appointment as a tire-maker to the Earl of Shrewsbury. Bill was later sent to Paris by the Earl to set up a branch of the wheel and tire business which was near Port d’Asnieres. Bill Burgess settled in Paris, living there for the remainder of his life, marrying a French woman, and he would eventually be interned briefly by the Germans during World War II. Burgess competed in the swimming events held during the 1900 Paris World’s Fair, which are considered as the Olympic swimming competitions. His main claim to fame as a swimmer, however, came in 1911 when, after 13 failed attempts, he became the second man to swim the English Channel, after Matthew Webb in August 1875, finishing in 22 hours, 35 minutes. It would not be until 1923 that a third successful crossing would be made, by Henry Sullivan, and in 1926, Burgess, by then a swim coach, would train American Trudy Ederle in her successful attempt to become the first woman to swim the Channel. Burgess received a gold cup for his Channel crossing which was exhibited for many years at the Great Smith Street Baths in London. A bronze bust of Burgess now stands at the Sheffield Road pool, with the nose rubbed smooth from generations of British students rubbing it for luck prior to going into the baths.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1900 Summer 27 Paris Water Polo Men's Water Polo Libellule de Paris GBR 3T Bronze
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Men's 1,000 metres Freestyle Great Britain GBR AC r2/2 DNF
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Men's 4,000 metres Freestyle Great Britain GBR 4
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Men's 200 metres Backstroke Great Britain GBR 5

Men's Water Polo

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result
1900 Summer 27 Paris Water Polo Libellule de Paris GBR Semi-Finals Match #2 2 1900-08-12 Brussels Swimming and Water Polo Club 5, Libellule de Paris-1 1

Men's 1,000 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Great Britain Final AC DNF
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat Four 2 QC 16:54.0

Men's 4,000 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Great Britain Final 4 1-15:07.6
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat One 2 QC 1-15:04.8

Men's 200 metres Backstroke

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Great Britain Final 5 3:12.0
1900 Summer 27 Paris Swimming Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat One 3 QC 3:50.4
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