Ann Elisabeth CURTIS



With three Olympic medals, Ann Curtis of the Crystal Plunge Club in San Francisco was the most successful woman swimmer of the 1948 Games. During her career Miss Curtis won 34 AAU titles (including eight relays), but surprisingly set only two world records, posting a new long course best for the 880y freestyle in 1944 and a new 440y record, in a short-course pool, in 1947. Ann Curtis was one of the best known sportswomen of her time and in 1944 was the first woman to win the Sullivan Award. She was a cover girl on the front of Colliers, Newsweek, and many other magazines.

Initially taught to swim by nuns at the Ursuline Convent in Santa Rosa, Ann Curtis later joined the Crystal Plunge swim team, where she was taught by Charlie Sava from age 15. Curtis attended U Cal Berkeley, but they had no women’s swim team so she commuted daily to Treasure Island to train with Sava. She married her college sweetheart, Gordon Cuneo, a forward on the Cal baskeball team, and they settled in San Rafael, California where she started and ran the Ann Curtis School of Swimming. Ann Curtis was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in 1966 and the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.


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