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Phyllis Dewar

Full name: Phyllis Delma Dewar (-Lowery)
Nickname(s): The Moose Jaw Mermaid
Gender: Female
Born: March 5, 1916 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died: April 8, 1961 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Country: CAN Canada
Sport: Swimming

Biography

Phyllis Dewar was little-known prior to achieving widespread athletic fame at the 1934 British Empire Games, where she won four gold medals: individually in the 110 and 440 yard freestyle events, with [Irene Pirie] and the non-Olympians Florence Humble and Margaret Hutton in the 4x110 yards relay, and with the non-Olympians Hutton and Phyllis Haslam in the 3x110 yards medley relay. For these feats, she was awarded the first Velma Springstead Trophy as Canada’s outstanding female athlete of the year. After setting five Canadian records at the 1935 national championships, she was selected for Canada’s delegation to the 1936 Summer Olympics and entered into three events: the 100 and 400 m individual freestyle tournaments and the 4x100 m freestyle relay, the latter with Pirie, [Mary McConkey], and [Margaret Stone]. The nation’s high hopes were dashed, however, when Deward came down with the flu in Berlin; she was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 100 m and was not even able to start in the 400 m. In the relay, the Canadians came in joint-fourth alongside the Hungarians.

Dewar had one last hurrah at the 1938 British Empire Games, where she took gold in the 4x110 y freestyle relay with [Noel Oxenbury] and non-Olympians Dorothy Lyon and Mary Baggaley, and then retired from active competition. After her husband was killed in a car crash, her health declined, and she died seven years later the relatively young age of 45. She is a member of the Saskatchewan Sports (1967), Canadian Sports (1971), and Canadian Olympic (1972) Halls of Fame.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Summer 20 Berlin Swimming Women's 100 metres Freestyle Canada CAN 6 h1 r2/3
1936 Summer 20 Berlin Swimming Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay Canada CAN 4T

Women's 100 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1936 Summer 20 Berlin Swimming Canada Semi-Finals Heat One 6 1:09.6
1936 Summer 20 Berlin Swimming Canada Round One Heat One 4 q 1:09.2

Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank
1936 Summer 20 Berlin Swimming Canada CAN Final 4T
1936 Summer 20 Berlin Swimming Canada CAN Round One Heat One 3
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