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Distance Freestyle Specialist Debbie (Meyer) Weber

1977 ISHOF honor swimmer

Phillip Whitten | July 19, 2000

Debbie (Meyer) Weber competed in the 2006 FINA World Masters Championships at Stanford finishing eighth in the 50-54 age group of the 400-meter freestyle. Debbie Meyer (USA) was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in 1977. The following text was included in the program for the induction ceremony of that year:

THE RECORD: three golds in 1968 Olympics, two golds in 1967 Pan-American Games, 19 national AAU championships, 24 American records and on three American record relays. Fifteen world records. 1967, 1968, 1969 "World Swimmer of the Year." 1968 Sullivan Award winner. Swam for Arden Hills under Sherm Chavoor.

First to win three individual golds at one Olympics (1968 Mexico), two Pan-American golds in 1967. She was the first woman to swim 1500 meters under 18 minutes and the first to take the 400 meter under 4:30, the 500 yard under 5 minutes and the 1650 yard under 17 minutes. She held 24 American records. In 1967 she was chosen Tass News Agency's "Woman Athlete of the Year." Debbie Meyer, between the ages of 14 and 18, was the world's greatest female swimmer. In seven years prior to the 1968 Olympics (she began at the Camden Y and finished as belle cow of the Arden Hills Swim Club) she swam 30,000 miles to set training standards no girl before her had achieved and yet she remained a happy all-American girl in appearance as in performance setting standards. Just for comparison and a little argument in the battle of the sexes, Debbie's 4:24.5 in the 400 meter would have beaten Murray Rose in the 1956 Olympics and her 17:19.9 in the 1500 meter would have been 39 seconds faster than his 1500 meter time.

Also see Still Kicking by Phil Whitten, Swimming World Magazine July 2005

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