Friday, 20 February 2009

Coogee - Mina Wylie at Wylie's Baths

Sculpture of Mina (Wilhelmina)Wylie, daughter of the founder of Wylie's Baths. Sculptor: Eileen Slarke

Mina Wylie was a woman of firsts. She and friend, Fanny (Sarah Frances) Durack, were the first women to win a silver and gold medal respectively in Olympic swimming, at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. For the first time at those Olympics, two women's races were held: 100m, and 100m relay. She was also the first woman to receive the Diploma of the Royal Life Saving Society.
In 1971, Mina was inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Wylie was born in Coogee in 1890, and died in 1984.

Photo collage left - Top left: Fanny Durack (l) and Mina Wylie (r). Top right: Mina Wylie. Bottom left: Fanny Durack. Bottom right: Fanny Durack (l) and Mina Wylie (r) in Stockholm
After competing against each other in thw 1910-11 swimming season, Mina and Fanny persuaded swimming officials to let them compete in Stockholm. There were 27 competitors. The pool was built in an inlet of Stockholm Harbour. There were no lane ropes. Fanny's time in the 100m final was 1:22.2 and Mina's was 1:25.4.

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