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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Rose Pitonof, Boston's Ocean Pearl
William Curran's poem read,
"With fond and faithful rememberance of the 13th day of August 1911, when we saw a mightly little lady, Miss Rose Pitonof, breaking all previous records.
Here is a toast, here is to the little girl that made Boston famous.
Here is to the little girl that proved the gamest.
Here is to the little girl that has the world at her back.
For the world loves a winner, especially a crackerjack.
Here’s to the plucky little girl Boston’s Ocean Pearl
that set the world in a whirl
and the only person to successfully accomplish the great 25 mile course
from Bellevue Pier East 26th Street to the Ocean."
Draeger was not shy in extolling the namesake for the 17-mile Rose Pitonof Swim in New York, "In the early 1900's, over 15 years before the first female successfully swam the English Channel, in a time when learning how to swim was actively discouraged among women, 17-year-old Rose Pitonof emerged as arguably the best marathon open water swimmer in the world.
Rose's achievements include becoming the Long Distance Champion Swimmer of the United States by beating 7 male swimmers to set the record for the Boston Light Swim - a record which stood for years - and her historic swim from Manhattan to Coney Island, earning her the title of Women's Champion Swimmer of the World.
What inspires me most about Rose was her success in showing the world that the unthinkable was possible: that a woman - a girl - could be better at an emerging sport than most men - most people - in the world."
Draeger has researched and posted a variety of information about the newest Honour Pioneer Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame here (with a Facebook page here and information on the 2014 Rose Pitonof Swim here).
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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