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Swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with women’s competitions receiving just as much attention as men’s. But at first the women were denied access. The luck of two pioneers who broke the charts.

One of the most followed specialties in Olympic Games Do you swimming, which these days occupies a lot of informational attention to the competition, both male and female.

the woman It was not easy for them to swim in the games. At first they were banned The International Olympic Committee did not allow women’s events to be held at the Olympic Games until 1910 الألعاب Stockholm in 1912. Although it would be more appropriate to speak in the singular, because they only allowed swimmers to compete in the 100m freestyle. This procedure was not liked by everyone and not precisely because it was restrictive. exactly the contrary.

In the mindset of that time, the idea that Women should be an example of virtue. It was considered that this was an inherent trait of their gender, which translated into strong norms of social behavior that did not allow, for example, women to be Show your body in public. Ankle-length skirts and long-sleeved blouses. So any outdoor activity was conditional. In the event that they had the audacity to take the water, which was the way they were called to go ashore, they had to do so in a full-covering suit.

The idea of ​​a modest woman was stronger in some countries than in others. For example, the United States immediately announced that it would not allow female swimmers to be in its Olympic delegation. The Australians didn’t want to be in the event either, so they told the athletes who had been training since 1910 that if they wanted to go to Stockholm they would have to pay for the trip themselves. It was on the verge of Fanny Durac, 23, and Mina Willy, 21 21. Born in Sydney, they were the unbeatable heroes of their country.

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It wasn’t just men who didn’t want to be accepted. There was also a part of Older feminists who haven’t seen it clearly either. And they fought for the right to vote. But one thing it was the ballot boxes and the ballot papers and something else going around the world in a bathing suit exposing the body to the saucy men’s look. In the end, female solidarity was stronger than ancient morals, and they agreed to help them Collect money to buy tickets to Scandinavia. However, they tried not to lose their composure, causing sudden situations to say the least. For example, when organizing a swimming show starring Dorac and Willie, Rose Escot, the leader of the New South Wales suffrage movement, hired a group of blind musicians, so they couldn’t see the girls in swimwear. Needless to say, the act was restricted to women only. It is also true that thanks to such actions, the two athletes were able to realize their dream. They also go down in history.

The competition was held between 8 and 12 July. In total there were 37 swimmers from eight delegations Different: Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and the so-called Australia, which combined Australian and New Zealand athletes, as already happened at the 1908 Olympics.

The first to qualify for the final was Wiley by winning her series. Then it was Durak’s turn, who swam faster than any other woman. She covered the 100m in 1:19.8, crushing opponent’s marks that were about 1:25. In the final, it wasn’t all that fast, but he clearly prevailed and won the gold; While his compatriot won the silver medal. It took 20 years for another Australian to reach the top of the podium at the Olympics. Claire Denis was in Los Angeles in 1932. As for the 100-meter record, he held it until the 1920 games in Antwerp, when Durak was unable to participate due to an attack of appendicitis.

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After Stockholm, the two players continued to compete in their own country as their value was finally recognized. Fanny Durac died in 1956 and Mina Willie in 1984. Both were inducted into the Florida Swimming Hall of Fame, considered pioneers of the sport.


One of the problems Olympic swimmers had was how to get a swimsuit that was useful for competition but without compromising excessively. They used a one-piece design similar to the one used by track and field athletes, but with more than one layer of fabric—wool or cotton—because once wet, it didn’t reveal what they wanted to cover.

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