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Helen Orr 'Elenor ' Gordon


(Helen Orr Gordon-McKay)

1933 - 2014

Olympic swimming champion. Born in Hamilton, Gordon was the daughter of a lifeguard at Hamilton swimming baths. While still at school, she qualified for the London Olympics of 1948. In 1952, she won a bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke at the Helsinki Olympics. She also qualified for the Melbourne Olympics of 1956. In 1950, she won a gold medal in the breaststroke at the 1950 Commonwealth (British Empire) Games in Auckland (New Zealand) and in the Vancouver Games four years later. She also won a further gold in Auckland in the 3 x 110-yards medley relay and was able to take a bronze medal in the same event in Vancouver. She was the Scottish 220 yards breaststroke champion every year from 1947 to 1957, and was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. She died in Wishaw just weeks before she was scheduled to present the swimming medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow of 2014.


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