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Gertrude Ederle – Rewire Hero of the Week

“When somebody tells me I cannot do something, that’s when I do it.”

Gertrude Ederle

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle braved the rough conditions of the Atlantic Ocean to become the first woman to cross the English Channel. If not impressive enough, despite incredibly harsh conditions, Ederle also broke the all-time record by over two hours – beating all five previous men. Upon arriving back in New York, she was greeted with a ticker-tape parade attended by more than two million people. 

Aside from the her incredible English Channel crossing, Ederle had many other achievements. As an amateur athlete she held 29 US and World Records from 1921 to 1925, as well as winning a gold medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics. She also broke the record from Battery Park to Sandy Hook with a time that wouldn’t be beaten for 81 years; an annual swim, the Ederle Swim, is held at this location every year in her memory.

As someone with poor hearing herself, Ederle also gave back to the community by teaching deaf children to swim. She lived a long life to the age of 98, passing in 2003.

Gertrude’s achievements came at an incredibly important time, where female athletes were unfortunately not taken very seriously. Ederle is an inspiration to us all, showing us that you are capable of achieving your dreams regardless of who you are. Gertrude Ederle is our Rewire Hero of the week.

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Jim Thorpe – Rewire Hero of the Week

They just keep coming. But that’s what keeps me going.

Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe is considered one of the most all-round athletes of modern sports, competing in the Olympics and playing professional football, baseball and basketball. Thorpe was a member of the Sac and Fox Nation and was the first indigenous American to win a gold medal, winning two in the 1912 Olympics in the pentathlon and decathlon.

Thorpe with mismatched shoes in the 1912 Olympics

If not amazing enough, just before he was due to compete, Thorpe’s shoes were stolen and so he found two mismatched shoes (including one from the trash can) and wore them to compete and win the gold medal! Thorpe teaches us to not look for excuses, but instead look for solutions. Never let an obstacle get in your way, instead find a way around it.

Thorpe also competed in Major League Baseball, playing for the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Braves. He also played professional football and was the first president of the APFA (later NFL). One of the football teams that he played for was the Canton Bulldogs, before his arrival they attracted crowds of 1,200 people but, due to Thorpe’s popularity, 8,000 people turned up to his debut game. Thorpe played 52 NFL games for 6 teams and was a part of the National Football League 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Thorpe succeeded at a time when there was severe racial inequality in America, and as a indigenous person he was a victim of this racism. Thorpe teaches us to never let anything get in the way of success, and that is why he is our Rewire Hero of the Week!

#RewireHeroes