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Ellen King

(Ellen Pearson)

1909 - 1994

Olympic swimmer. Born in Renfrew, King was brought up in Edinburgh where she became a member of the Warrender Baths Club. She also trained at the open-air pool at North Berwick. She represented Britain at the 1924 Olympics in Paris but did not win a medal. However she gained a gold medal in the 4×100 m freestyle relay held at the European Championships in Bologna (1927) and two silver medals in the Amsterdam Olympics of 1928 for 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle relay, the latter in a team with fellow Scot Cissie Stewart (1911 - 2008). By the late 1920s, King held the world records for the 220 yards breaststroke and the 150 yards backstroke. She gained further medals at the first British Empire Games held in Canada in 1930; a silver in the 100 yards freestyle, a bronze in the 200 yard breaststroke and, in a team with Cissie Stewart and Jean McDowell (1908 - 2000), a further bronze in the 4×100 yards freestyle relay. She had also won a host of Scottish and British Championships titles.

King went on to teach swimming in Edinburgh schools and continued to swim until after her 80th birthday. She was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

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