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Olympics - Oldhamer's record equalled

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Henry Taylor (born March 17, 1885 in Hollinwood, Oldham – died February 28, 1951 in Chadderton) was a British freestyle swimmer who competed in four Olympics.


He was the first man to hold the world record for the 1500 metres freestyle, a feat that he completed on 25 July, 1908 in a time of 22:48.4 in London.


At the 1906 Summer Olympics in Athens he won three medals. In London 1908 he won three gold medals.


He also won two bronze medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm as well as eight years later in Antwerp.


Today Chris Hoy, cyclist, has won his third gold medal of these Games to equal Henry Taylor's record.


Famous Chaddertonian:



Tonight's rarely wrong Chron slants the story in favour of Henry still being our best ever Olympic swimmer:



P.S. Wonder if Henry is one of Chris Taylor's ancestors.

Edited by Diego_Sideburns
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Tonight's rarely wrong Chron explains how today's Olympic competitors don't know they're born in comparison with Chadderton's Henry Taylor.



"... there was no sharkskin-style full body suit, tested at NASA for its drag properties, for the Edwardian Olympian.


Taylor, who died at his home in Brierley Street, Chadderton in 1951, competed in a hand-sewn silk costume, with a modesty slip underneath, watched by his brother Bill who was also his trainer, and towel carrier.


Chadderton Swimming Club life member Bernard Edge still owns one of Taylor’s suits, so fine it is almost see-through, weighing around an ounce and patched with darns.


Mr Edge added: “Swimmers used a thong-style handkerchief underneath, knotted at the hip, for modesty.


“I don’t know whether this costume is the one Henry wore for the Olympics, but it is a prized part of the Chadderton Swimming Club collection.”


Henry Taylor, who was 5ft 5ins and weighed 10 stone 6lbs at the age of 23 in 1908, won eight Olympic medals in total at four games.


But his 1908 achievements set the bar for British competitors for a century. He won the 400m freestyle race in five minutes, 36.8 seconds.


In contrast, Britain’s Rebecca Adlington, who won two golds in Beijing in the pool, took the women’s 400m freestyle title in 4.40.84.


Henry Taylor also won the 1,500m in 22.48.4. This year it was won by Tunisian Oussama Mellouli who swam the distance exactly eight minutes faster.


And Taylor’s third medal was for the 4x200m relay, which the team finished in 10.55.6.


In 2008, the US relay winners, including 11-time gold medalist Michael Phelps, covered the distance in 6.58.56.


Taylor won his last medal, a bronze in the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, and became an attendant at Chadderton Baths.


He was cremated at Rochdale Cemetery and his ashes were scattered on the lawns at the Garden of Remembrance."

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Good googling Diego, admittedly his achievements were at an Olympics where almost all the world (now) was absent. But considering he was 5ft5 (virtually all international male swimmers are 6ft+ and a lot of the women are taller than 5ft5 for a reason) his achievements are special and I think unless we discover the next Michael Phelps his record won't be beaten (its very hard to win 4 events in an Olympics unless you are a swimmer). Feel its just a shame that until his record was equalled I hadn't heard of him.

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Feel its just a shame that until his record was equalled I hadn't heard of him.


Agreed. Even when they mentioned his name on TV, it was said that he came from Lancashire without being specific. I suspect that if he'd been a Manc or a Scouser, the city rather than county would have been mentioned.

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