Sybil Bauer

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameSybil Lorina•Bauer
Used nameSybil•Bauer
Born18 September 1903 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Died31 January 1927 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
AffiliationsIllinois AC, Chicago (USA)
NOC United States


Sybil Bauer, the daughter of Norwegian parents living in Chicago, was the first great woman backstroker. Perhaps her finest achievement came in Bermuda in 1922 when she was clocked at 6:24.8 for the 440y backstroke, which represented a four-second improvement on “Stubby” Kruger’s world record for men. Bauer won the 1924 Olympic title by a massive margin, set 23 world records, and won six successive AAU 100y backstroke champlionships from 1921. Sybil Bauer attended Northwestern and was on the basketball and field hockey teams, in addition to the swim team. She was a leader in the campaign to get full competitive programs into women’s university sports, but became ill early in 1927. She died from cancer in her senior year of college without seeing her wish fulfilled. Bauer also missed her chance to marry her fiancé, Ed Sullivan, who at the time was a Chicago sportswriter but later became the well-known host of his own television variety show.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1924 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Sybil Bauer
100 metres Backstroke, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes