Winnie Leuszler

The July 18 1951 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained an article about a woman who hoped to be the first Canadian to swim the English Channel:


As it turned out, she didn’t have to worry about raising money to make her way home. Mrs. Morris Leuszler (as the Globe and Mail referred to her) made her attempt on August 16, and was successful – she became the first Canadian to swim the channel. Her time was 13 hours, 25 minutes, which beat the women’s record of 13:42. (The current record holder is Trent Grimsey of Australia, who crossed the channel in 6 hours and 55 minutes. The current female record holder is Yvetta Hlaváčová, who made it across in 7:25.)

Wikipedia has an entry on Winnie Leuszler (1926-2004); she had a number of achievements and honours in her life. She was honoured as Canada’s All Round Athlete of the year in 1946, when she won the five-mile World Swimming Championship while three months pregnant. In addition to her achievements in distance swimming, she became Canada’s first female baseball umpire in 1957. She received the Order of Ontario in 1999.

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