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Swimming at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Women's 100 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Park Swimming Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 6, 1932
Date Finished: August 8, 1932

Gold: USA Helene Madison
Silver: NED Willy den Ouden
Bronze: USA Eleanor Garatti-Saville


[Helene Madison] had emerged as the dominant force in women’s swimming over the previous two years, breaking record after record and was voted the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for 1931. Madison’s progressed to the final but her semi-final swim, where she faded after a strong start and finished in a time that would have seen fail to qualify from the other semi-final, brought a moment of doubt. The 14 year old [Willy den Ouden] from the Netherlands had broken the Olympic record in reaching the final and looked set to mount a strong challenge to Madison. The American started the final strongly and built up a clear lead but with 25 metres to go she clipped the lane dividers and lost speed. Regaining her momentum, she pushed on to the end and finished ahead of her Dutch rival.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Helene Madison 19 United States USA Gold OR
2 Willy den Ouden 14 Netherlands NED Silver
3 Eleanor Garatti-Saville 23 United States USA Bronze
4 Josephine McKim 22 United States USA
5 Frances Bult 19 Australia AUS
6 Jenny Maakal 18 South Africa RSA
4 h1 r2/3 Joyce Cooper 23 Great Britain GBR
4 h2 r2/3 Corrie Laddé 16 Netherlands NED
5 h1 r2/3 Yvonne Godard 24 France FRA
3 h1 r1/3 Valerie Davies 20 Great Britain GBR
3 h3 r1/3 Lilli Andersen 17 Denmark DEN
3 h4 r1/3 Yukie Arata 17 Japan JPN
4 h1 r1/3 Hatsuho Matsuzawa 17 Japan JPN
4 h2 r1/3 Rie Vierdag 26 Netherlands NED
4 h3 r1/3 Edna Hughes 15 Great Britain GBR
4 h4 r1/3 Irene Pirie-Milton 18 Canada CAN
5 h1 r1/3 Marjorie Linton 15 Canada CAN
5 h2 r1/3 Irene Mullen 18 Canada CAN
5 h3 r1/3 Kazue Kojima 15 Japan JPN
5 h4 r1/3 Maria Lenk 17 Brazil BRA