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American swimmer Gertrude Ederle achieved fame when she competed in the 1924 Olympics and became the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1926.
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Her later life was quiet: She said that she had achieved her one ambition by crossing the English Channel. She taught swimming to children at the Lexington School for the Deaf. She never married and she lived quietly with several female friends in the Flushing, Queens, neighborhood of New York City. A hearing problem that had troubled Ederle since her childhood (and was likely worsened by her swimming) caused her eventual deafness.
Ederle died in Wyckoff, New Jersey,
in 2003 at the age of 98. The Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center, complete with a pool, bears her name on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, not far from where she grew up and first learned to swim.
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