Marathon swim winner

The August 23 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had several articles and pictures related to the women’s marathon swim that had taken place at the CNE the previous afternoon. The ten-mile event offered a $5000 prize to the winner (equivalent to nearly $75,000 in 2020 dollars). The winner, a woman from Philadelphia named Margaret “Marge” Ravior, took over five and a half hours to complete the swim.

The articles in that day’s paper had somewhat less than flattering comments about Ms. Ravior. For example, the front page article referred to her as a “large lady of few words”:

She was also referred to as a “big, broad-backed girl”. Another article made a point of listing her weight:

Moving over to the sports section, long-time sports editor Lou Marsh referred to her as “husky, game, and powerful”:

The paper included a photo of Ms. Ravior:

In one of the articles, Ms. Ravior was asked whether she would do this again. At the time, she said no, but she came back: she wound up winning the event three years in a row. (The 1932 event has already been mentioned in this blog here.)

Lou Marsh’s article speculated on whether Ms. Ravior would be married by this time next year, pointing out that her trainer, Bill Boggs, kissed her in front of the movie cameras. However, she wound up marrying Canadian swimmer George Young; the marriage did not last. I have no idea what happened to her after that.

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