The Day Hodgson Became A Canadian Pioneer

The Pioneers: On this day 101 years ago, Canadian pioneer George Ritchie Hodgson (October 12, 1893 – May 1, 1983) clocked 22 minutes precisely to win the 1912 Olympic 1500m freestyle crown in Stockholm. Four days later, the only Canadian swimmer at the Games that year would add the 400m title, two triumphs that would make him the Canada’s only Olympic gold medal winner in the pool until Alex Baumann’s medley double in 1984

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The Pioneers: On this day 101 years ago, Canadian pioneer George Ritchie Hodgson (October 12, 1893 – May 1, 1983) clocked 22 minutes precisely to win the 1912 Olympic 1500m freestyle crown in Stockholm. Four days later, the only Canadian swimmer at the Games that year would add the 400m title, two triumphs that would make him the Canada’s only Olympic gold medal winner in the pool until Alex Baumann’s medley double in 1984

Comments

Lennart van Haaften

I wish 22 minutes still did the job today. 😉 Amazing how far swimming has developed since then. By the way, did Hodgson have to swim 32 laps in a 50 meter pool to break the mile WR?

Mark Janlelow

Victor Davis also won a gold medal in 1984: 200 Breast: 3:13:34: World Record.
Thank you

McGillRocks

Lennart-

He was quoted saying, “I have never had a coach of a lesson,” and explained they didn’t train or taper or anything, they just kept in good physical condition

Also that bodysuit can’t have been doing him any favors. It probably weighed a ton in the water. I’d like to see how you would do if you never learned to swim except by looking at other swimmers and teaching yourself, then swimming in a wool bodysuit with no goggles. I don’t think breaking 22 would be so easy

Craig Lord

Yes, thanks: Alex’s 400IM came first, so made him the first since George.

Craig Lord

Hi Lennart. The Stockholm pool was 100m long… and I’m too tired to work out what that means for the mile… may be they threw a log in somewhere and counted it from there 🙂 I do know this, from my notes…

Built for the Games, the pool matched London 1908’s 100-metre long facility. At 20m wide, it was also dug to a depth “greater than the height of man”. The tank ran along the River Djurgardsprunnsviken at the foot of Laboratoriebacken hill. It was lined with sand in an attempt to keep the water clean, while walls and booms kept choppy water at bay in accordance with FINA’s 1908 rule requiring all world records to be established in “absolutely still water (ie without current or tide)”.

Lennart van Haaften

McGillRocks, you are right, and I certainly wasn’t trying to diminish the early achievements. These swimmers basically had to invent the sport that we can enjoy today thanks to their efforts.

Lennart van Haaften

Thanks Craig for the historical context, very interesting.

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