Leicester in First Place for Olympic Swimming History

Jennie Fletcher won a gold medal in the 1912 Olympics

The 2012 London Olympics mark a hundred years since Jennie Fletcher became a legend in her own time. Leicester’s all round swimming champion in 1906 went on to break many records, ultimately being picked for the 1912 Olympics at Stockholm.

At this, the first Olympic Games to include female swimmers, Jennie Fletcher of Leicester won bronze for the 100m freestyle. Then at the same games she formed part of a relay team that went on to win gold. In all, she won over 20 major trophies and titles, becoming champion of England six times as well as setting 11 world records. Her achievements were recognised in 1971 when she was praised as the ‘world’s first great woman swimmer’, being included in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Although she died in 1968 her achievements were not recognised by the City until 2005 when a plaque commemorating her achievements appeared at Cossington Street Sports Centre.

In 2010 her name was fittingly included in the city’s Walk of Fame, in the Cultural Quarter.

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