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Swimming at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games

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Host City: Antwerpen, Belgium
Date Started: August 22, 1920
Date Finished: September 1, 1920
Events: 10

Participants: 116 (92 men and 24 women) from 19 countries
Youngest Participant: NZL Violet Walrond (15 years, 178 days)
Oldest Participant: BEL Paul De Backer (37 years, 196 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 3 medals
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (16 medals)


The swimming events were held in a hastily constructed pool in the middle of Antwerp. The water was noted to be very dark and very cold. In addition, the weather throughout the Games was cool and damp and the swimmers scrambled to warm up after every race.

The men were led by a star from Stockholm, Duke Kahanamoku, the famous Hawaiian swimmer who made his international début at the 1912 Olympics, and a star from Paris, Norman Ross, who had won five of six individual gold medals at the 1919 Inter-Allied Games in Paris. Duke won two gold medals and Ross three, leaving only the backstroke and breaststroke events for others to win. Ethelda Bleibtrey led the women by winning gold medals in all three of the freestyle events on the program for women at Antwerp.