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Willie Foster

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameWilliam "Willie"•Foster
Used nameWillie•Foster
Born10 July 1890 in Haslingden, Bacup, Lancashire, England (GBR)
Died17 December 1963 in Fylde, Blackpool, England (GBR)
AffiliationsBacup Amateur Swimming Club, Rossendale (GBR)
NOC(s) Great Britain

Biography

Exactly two weeks after his 18th birthday, William Foster was on a winning relay team at the 1908 Games and remains, through 2016, the youngest ever male British Olympic gold medalist. Willie started swimming at the Maden Baths in Bacup where David Billington, winner of 10 national titles between 1901-05, also used to train. Willie later joined Hyde Seal and, although he never won an ASA title, was in the top flight of British swimmers for a number of years. Foster’s sisters Ivy, Mary and Annie were all either schoolgirl, or Borough, champion swimmers at the turn of the century.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1908 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) 400 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 4 Representing Great Britain    
  1,500 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 3 h1 r2/3
  4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men Olympic Great Britain 1 Gold
1912 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) 400 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 3 h1 r2/3 Representing Great Britain    
  1,500 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 3 h2 r2/3
  4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men Olympic Great Britain 3 Bronze

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1908 Summer Olympics 24 July 1908 Swimming (Aquatics) 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men Semi-Finals, Heat Two 10:53.4 WR 1

Special Notes