Mann, Shelley (1937—)

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Mann, Shelley (1937—)

American swimmer . Born in Virginia on October 15,1937.

Shelley Mann was born in Virginia in 1937; six years later, she was crippled by polio. Doctors prescribed swimming as therapy to regain strength in her arms and legs, and, at 12, she began to train for competition at the Walter Reed Swim Club in Washington, D.C. By 14, she was the U.S. national champion. Mann would be the first woman to win the gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly in Olympic swimming with a time of 1:11.0. When the inaugural event was held in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956, the Americans swept the field: Mann first, Nancy Ramey second, and Mary Sears third. The world record holder, Aartje Voorbij , had not competed because of the Dutch boycott of the Games. Mann also went home with a silver medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. She held records in backstroke, freestyle, individual medley, and butterfly, and was inducted into the Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 1966.