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Charmain Welsh

Full name: Charmain Isobel Welsh (-Rawlings)
Gender: Female
Born: May 17, 1937 in Easington, County Durham, Great Britain
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Diving

Biography

In today’s world of competitive sport, athletes have the very best of training facilities, but for diver Charmian Welsh she did her training in an open-air swimming pool known locally as Dawdon pit pond, near Seaham Harbour, Co. Durham, and the thick black mud at the bottom of it stemmed from its close proximity to the local coalmine. Her father, a former junior rugby international, was a local colliery manager and wanted her daughter to have better coaching in the United States, but it was not part of the ASA agenda so she continued training at Dawdon. But it paid dividends.

A student at Durham High School she did not start swimming until the age of 11 but two years later was a Durham and Northumberland ladies champion. Having won swimming and diving trophies she turned her attention to diving and qualified for the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. She was just two months beyond her 15th birthday when she arrived in Finland, the first time she had ever been outside Great Britain, and she defied her years by finishing fifth in the springboard event. Welsh competed in her second Olympics at Melbourne fours years later but finished well down the field in both diving events. However, her moment of glory was to come at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in 1958. Having placed fourth in the springboard four years earlier, she became a double gold medallist in Cardiff winning both the springboard and platform events. Less than two months later she won the springboard silver medal in the European Championships at Budapest. She was expected to appear in her third Olympics at Rome in 1960 but she surprisingly quit diving in 1959 because she felt there was too much "politics" within the sport

Welsh also represented Durham at both fencing and shooting and later became a teacher. Sadly, Welsh was widowed when her husband Peter, along with her only daughter, and fiancé, were killed in a car crash. Well into her 70s Charmian continued to coach young divers in Durham and in 2013 was honoured with a lifetime achievement award by British Swimming for Outstanding Contribution at Club Level.

Regarding the spelling of her very rare forename, she said in 2008: "I've only come across five or six people in my life who've shared it. Cleopatra had a handmaiden called Charmian. Perhaps my parents knew their Shakespeare?”

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Women's Springboard Great Britain GBR 5
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Women's Springboard Great Britain GBR 14
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Women's Platform Great Britain GBR 12

Women's Springboard

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank PTS FP DP SP
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Final Standings 5 116.38
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Final 5 116.38 57.24
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Qualifying 4 QU 59.14
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Final Round Dive #1 5T 11.56
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Final Round Dive #2 6 11.70
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Final Round Dive #3 8 9.46
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Final Round Dive #4 6 10.08
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Final Round Dive #5 4 14.44
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #1 7 11.22
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #2 3 12.54
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #3 4 12.60
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #4 6 11.05
1952 Summer 15 Helsinki Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #5 9 11.73
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Final Standings 14 59.45
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying 14 59.45
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #1 1 11.52
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #2 9T 10.80
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #3 17 5.61
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #4 17 5.85
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #5 11 10.07
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #6 2 15.60

Women's Platform

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank PTS FP DP SP
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Final Standings 12 69.05
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Final 12 69.05 22.50
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying 11 QU 46.55
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Final Round Dive #1 7T 12.00
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Final Round Dive #2 11 10.50
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #1 14T 10.24
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #2 5 13.00
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #3 10 11.21
1956 Summer 19 Melbourne Diving Great Britain Qualifying Dive #4 12 12.10
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