Greta Andersen Competed Against The Best Men of Her Generation

Greta Andersen Competed Against The Best Men of Her Generation

Olympic gold medalist and multiple English Channel swimmer Greta Andersen is shown above with fellow International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame dual inductee Cliff Lumsdon, training for the 1957 Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The two Hall of Famers were among the top 10 swimmers in open water swimming history who won the most prize money during their careers. Andersen competed in the era when women raced head-to-head with men.

Andersen is shown above with Herman Willemse, another Hall of Fame dual inductee who served as the President of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation during the 1960s and was known by his nickname the Flying Dutchman, at the 1963 Atlantic City Around the Island Swim.

Many years ago, Dale Petranech passed on a treasure trove of old hardcover books – some written by a dual inductees in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame like Commander Charles Gerald Forsberg, OBE, RN and Johnny Weissmuller and many photographs from the professional marathon swimming races and other solo marathon swimmers in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Some of the photographs and background information were compiled by Joe Grossman (1925-1974, shown above with Abou-Heif), a promoter and administrator/secretary of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Grossman was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1979 as an Honor Administrator and honored with the inaugural 1970 Irving Davids / Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award for Meritorious Service to Long Distance Swimming.

Grossman wrote the initial draft of the book A History of Marathon Swimming that was eventually written and published in 2018 by Steve Walker. The book was nominated for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

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Steven Munatones