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Brenda Helser

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameBrenda Mersereau•Helser (-de Morelos)
Used nameBrenda•Helser
Born26 May 1924 in San Francisco, California (USA)
Died26 March 2001
AffiliationsLAAC, Los Angeles (USA)
Title(s)Countess de Morelos y Guerrero
NOC United States


In addition to helping set an Olympic record in the freestyle relay at the 1948 Games, Brenda Heiser swam in both the freestyle individual events. In the 100m she was eliminated in the semi-finals and in the 400m she placed fifth in the final. Helser won four AAU titles outdoors in the 100 metre freestyle, winning in 1940-41, 1943, and 1946. She also swam on six AAU champion medley relay teams - from 1942-45 for the Multnomah Athletic Club, and in 1947-48 for the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Brenda Heiser was one of the veterans on the women’s swim team at the London Olympics. In the early part of her career she represented the Multnomah AC in Portland, Oregon, but later swam for the Los Angeles AC. Helser attended Stanford University. She later became, by marriage, the Countess de Morelos y Guerrero, and Helser-de Morelos settled in France, where she raised their children. She is a member of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Brenda Helser
100 metres Freestyle, Women (Olympic) 8 h2 r2/3
400 metres Freestyle, Women (Olympic) 5
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Special Notes


Year of birth usually given as 1926, but this is not supported by California birth index and US censuses.