Zus Philipsen-Braun

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMaria Johanna "Zus"•Philipsen-Braun
Used nameZus•Philipsen-Braun
Nick/petnamesMarie of Zus
Born22 June 1911 in Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland (NED)
Died23 June 1982 in Gouda, Zuid-Holland (NED)
Measurements170 cm
AffiliationsODZ, Rotterdam (NED)
NOC Netherlands
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2


Marie Braun was the daughter of Marie Braun-Voorwinde, known as “Ma” Braun. Her mother was a dominant and successful coach, involved with Dutch women’s swimming from the mid-1920s until her death in 1956. Her daughter, who was also a decent diver and water polo player, achieved her first great success in 1927, winning the European title in the 400 m freestyle, in addition to two silver medals, one in the 100 m backstroke and one in the 4×100 m freestyle (with Truus Klapwijk, Rie Vierdag, and the non-Olympian Wilhelmine den Turk). One year later, Braun became the first Dutch swimming champion by winning the 100 m backstroke in Amsterdam, while also taking silver in the 400 freestyle. Nicknamed “Zus” (Sis), she won three more European titles in 1931, 400 m freestyle, 100 m backstroke, 4×100 m freestyle (with Truus Baumeister, Rie Vierdag, and Willy den Ouden), and Braun was favoured to medal in Los Angeles. After qualifying for the 400 m freestyle final, Braun had to be taken to hospital with a fever, officially because of an “insect bite”. She herself thought people favouring American Eleanor Holm might have tried to eliminate her. The incident ended Braun’s career, in which she bettered six World Records (three times in the 100 backstroke) and 14 Dutch titles (of which 7 in 1927).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) NED Zus Braun
100 metres Freestyle, Women (Olympic) DNS
400 metres Freestyle, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women (Olympic) Netherlands AC r2/2
100 metres Backstroke, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
1932 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) NED Zus Philipsen-Braun
400 metres Freestyle, Women (Olympic) 2 h2 r1/3
100 metres Backstroke, Women (Olympic) 1 h3 r1/2

Special Notes