Host City: Paris, France
Venue(s): Tourelles Swimming Pool, Saint-Mandé
Date Started: July 19, 1924
Date Finished: July 20, 1924
America’s female freestylers matched and perhaps even outperformed their male equivalents despite the USOC’s attempts to shield them from any imagined temptations by housing them well away from Paris and subjecting them to long journeys to and from the Olympic pool. All three Americans matched or bettered the world record in the heats and although the semi-finals saw the field edge up on them slightly, there was little doubt as to who would fill the medal positions. [Mariechen Wehselau] opened a lead on her compatriots at the half way mark but [Ethel Lackie], at seventeen marginally the youngest of the USA’s teenage trio, put on a finishing burst that took her to the wall just ahead of Wehselau with [Gertrude Ederle] back in third. Ederle remains to this day the youngest swimmer to set a world record which she did at the age of 12 years 298 days and was also the first woman to swim the English Channel.