Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Eleanor G. Holm (December 6, 1913 - January 31, 2004) was an American swimmer. A former Olympic champion, she is best known for having been suspended from the 1936 Olympic team for excessive behavior.
Born the daughter of a fireman in Brooklyn, N.Y., Holm learned swimming while very young. Winning her first national swimming title at age 13, she was selected to compete in the 1928 Summer Olympics, where she finished fifth in her specialty, the 100-meter backstroke. She was talented in several other strokes as well, winning several American titles in the 300-yard medley event.
At the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, Holm won her favorite event, with defending champion Braun having to forfeit the final due to an insect bite. The following year, she married musician Art Jarrett , a fellow graduate of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, and sang in his band. She appeared with his band, wearing a white bathing suit and white cowboy hat with high heels, singing "I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande."
Competing as Eleanor Holm Jarrett, she was selected for the 1936 Olympics.
Unfortunately, after a drinking party aboard the ship transporting the team, Holm was found, according to the team doctor, in a state approaching a coma. According to David Wallechinsky, The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics, the Olympic team doctor reported that she was suffering from acute alcoholism, but Holm denied it. Team leader Avery Brundage promptly suspended her from the Olympic team. Holm, admitting to having had a few drinks, subsequently maintained that her suspension arose from a personal grudge held by Brundage.
- "This chaperone came up to me and told me it was time to go to bed. God, it was about 9 o'clock, and who wanted to go down in that basement to sleep anyway? So I said to her: `Oh, is it really bedtime? Did you make the Olympic team or did I?' I had had a few glasses of Champagne. So she went to Brundage and complained that I was setting a bad example for the team, and they got together and told me the next morning that I was fired. I was heartbroken."
Holm's Olympic teammates petitioned unsuccessfully to overturn the suspension. The top favorite for the 100-meter backstroke event, Holm watched from the stands as the title went to Dutch swimmer Nida Senff .
After she quit swimming, Holm played Jane opposite fellow Olympian Glenn Morris in the 1938 film Tarzan's Revenge . She enjoyed a short film career after that appearance. After her divorce from Art Jarrett, she married impresario Billy Rose. At the 1939 New York World's Fair she did 39 shows a week at Rose's "Aquacade", co-featured with Tarzan-swimmers Johnny Weissmuller and then Buster Crabbe.
New York Times obituary, February 2, 2004
William O. Johnson, All That Glitters Is Not Gold
Lewis H. Carlson and John J. Fogarty, Tales of Gold .
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details