Winners: Irene Strong, Swimming

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Irene Strong about to jump

Irene Strong in the start position.
Date: 1946
Collection:Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

1949 - Feature Story

Vancouver swimmer Irene Strong had always been one of Canada’s best female athletes, but her achievements were overshadowed by the country’s preoccupation with World and Olympic figure skating champion Barbara Ann Scott. In 1946, Strong had been presented with the Women’s Amateur Athletic Federation of Canada’s prestigious Rose Bowl trophy for setting 12 Canadian swim records that year. Strong went on to compete for Canada at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. In 1949, with Scott retired, Strong was recognized for her athletic prowess as Canada’s top female athlete. During that year her achievements included breaking her national breaststroke record in the 400 yards by 14 seconds. Strong  also won the 100 yard and 200 yard breaststroke event in record time and the 100 yard backstroke final at the British Empire Games team trials in Vancouver. When 20-year-old Strong was selected as Canada’s top female athlete for 1949, she was reported as holding 19 national swimming records.

Career Highlights

  • 1952 Competed at the Olympic Games in Helsinki
  • 1949 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (Canada’s female athlete of the year)
  • 1949 Held 19 Canadian swimming records at the end of the calendar year
  • 1948 Competed at the Olympic Games in London
  • 1947, 1949 Won Sir Edward Beatty Trophy as Canada’s most outstanding swimmer
Irene Strong wearing her Team Canada swimsuit

Irene Strong at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.
Date: July 24, 1952
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

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