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Thelma Kalama

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThelma Hildegard•Kalama (-Aiu)
Used nameThelma•Kalama
Born24 March 1931 in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (USA)
Died17 May 1999 in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (USA)
AffiliationsHawaii Swim Club
NOC United States


Thelma Kalama got to the 1948 Olympic Trials because Hawaiian beach boys took up a collection among the bathers so she could afford the trip. She placed fourth at both the 100m and 400m freestyle events at the trials, which earned her a relay spot at the Olympics. She won three AAU titles and set one American record for the 400m freestyle. Thelma Kalama later joined the marines, eventually becoming a sergeant. She also attended college at Miami of Ohio and was married for a short time.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Thelma Kalama
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women (Olympic) United States 1 Gold