You Are Here > > > Gail Peters

Gail Peters

Full name: Gail Peters (-Roper)
Gender: Female
Born: June 23, 1929 in Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Affiliations: Walter Reed Swim Club, Washington (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Swimming


Gail Peters was a New Jersey state champion in high school. A few years later, in 1951, she moved to Washington, DC to work as a military geology draftsman for the US government. She joined the Walter Reed Swim Club and starting setting American records in the breaststroke and individual medleys. Peters was AAU Champion outdoors in 1953 in the 110 and 220 yard breaststroke and the 330 yard individual medley, adding relay titles with the Walter Reed SC in the 4x220 yard free and medley relay. Indoors she won AAU titles in 1952 in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke and the 300 yard IM, adding breaststroke titles in 1953 at 100 and 250 yards.

After marrying and raising children, Peters left the pool for 18 years. When she returned at age 44, in 1973, she became one of the most dominant masters swimmers ever. She raced until 1986 when she was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and advised to restrict her swimming, which she did – for a few years. In the late 1980s she began coaching a swim club in San Francisco. In 1991, however, she returned to competition and resumed her prior dominance. So numerous are they, it is difficult to even catalog her masters records and titles. She won over 135 US masters championships, and set over 650 American masters records. Internationally Peters-Roper set 42 individual masters world records and won 30 world masters championships.

Peters later worked as a marine biologist for the Pacific States Marine Commission, living in California, with frequent business work in Hawai’i and Japan. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1997.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Swimming Women's 200 metres Breaststroke United States USA 6 h1 r1/3

Women's 200 metres Breaststroke

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1952 Summer 23 Helsinki Swimming United States Round One Heat One 6 3:13.3
id: 51,151