EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSTILL SWIMMING AT 88
from Eyewitness News Online
Member of 1940 Olympic Team Still Passionate About Swimming
Reported by: Deborah Linz
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Deborah Linz
Reported: Aug. 6, 2012 3:37 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 6, 2012 5:09 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
With the Olympics in full swing, many have been glued to the TV watching the world's best athletes compete on the international stage... that includes a Charleston woman who was a member of the 1940 Olympic Swimming Team. Deborah Linz spoke with Gloria Callen Jones about her swimming success 70 years ago and what she thinks of the Olympics today.
88-year old Gloria Callen Jones has been swimming for a long time, 81 years to be exact. But besides swimming herself, she enjoys watching the sport on the Olympics.
"I really enjoyed watching the Olympics, times are getting faster and faster."
You see Gloria almost went to the Olympics. She set 35 American records in swimming and one world record and won 13 U.S. Championships. Newspapers including the New York Times and Philadelphia Enquirer raved about her incredible swimming talent as well as her beauty, calling her "Glorious Gloria." No goggles back then.... she excelled in the backstroke.
"There was a lot more competition in freestyle back then, so you are better off doing the backstroke and you can breathe whenever you want."
Gloria made the U.S. Olympic swimming team in 1940, but then World War II broke out and the Olympics were cancelled.
Gloria says she was very disappointed but not so much for not swimming but for not being able to see Europe.
Shortly thereafter, Gloria went to college in New York and met her future husband, who then brought her back to his hometown of Charleston where she raised her family.
So for now, Gloria at the age of 85, will continue watching the Olympics on TV and of course, keep swimming.
Gloria has a granddaughter on a swimming scholarship at the University of Michigan, training at the the same facility Michael Phelps trained at for a number of years.
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