British Olympic Diver Edna Child Dies At 100

by Willem Stoll 0

June 15th, 2023 Britain, News

Edna Child, a British Olympic diver who competed at the 1948 Games in London, died in May at the age of 100. Prior to her death, Child was Britain’s oldest living Olympian.

Born in 1922, the London native began swimming at a young age, and picked up diving soon after, much to the dismay of her doctors, as she had spent much of her early life being treated for empyema—a build-up of pus in body cavities—which prevented her from physical activity for some time.

In 1937, a 14-year-old Child showed great promise as a diver as she became the Southern Counties springboard champ after only diving for two years, under Reginald Laxton, despite Child’s fear of heights. Soon after she appeared on the international stage, where she captured the bronze medal at the 1938 European Championships in London. However, she paused her career due to the onset of World War II, prompted by her joining the army.

After the end of the war in 1945, Child returned to diving, and qualified for the 1948 Olympic Games in London. She would go on to finish 6th in the springboard competition. She accomplished this feat while also working as a school teacher.

Child’s last international competition came at the British Empire Games in 1950, where she achieved a “double,” winning gold in both the springboard and platform events. She retired soon after in February of that year, citing her desire to settle down with her husband.

With the death of Child, Denmark’s Birte Christoffersen, has become the world’s oldest Olympic diver, aged 99. This also now passes the designation of oldest British Olympian to gymnast Jack Whitford, aged 99.

Currently, the oldest Olympian is Yvonne Chabot-Curtet of France, aged 103.

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