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Lottie Dod

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameCharlotte "Lottie"•Dod
Used nameLottie•Dod
Nick/petnamesThe Little Wonder
Born24 September 1871 in Bebington, Merseyside, England (GBR)
Died27 June 1960 in Sway, Hampshire, England (GBR)
AffiliationsWelford Park Archers, Welford (GBR)
NOC(s) Great Britain

Biography

Born the youngest of four children into an affluent family whose fortune was made in the cotton trade, Charlotte “Lottie” Dod benefitted from the construction of tennis courts on the family estate in Cheshire. Lottie joined the Rock Ferry Tennis Club in Birkenhead at the age of 11 and soon began to partner her sister in senior tournaments.

At the age of 13 Dod reached the final of the Northern Championships where she seriously troubled Wimbledon champion Maud Watson before falling to defeat. The following year she ended Watson’s run of 55 consecutive victories when she beat her in the final of the West of England Championships. This emboldened Dod to enter Wimbledon for the first time in 1887, which proved a wise decision as the now 15-year-old, helped by a more relaxed dress code for players under the age of 18, dominated proceedings and won the title with a comfortable victory over Blanche Bingley. She retained her title in 1888 but played only one tournament in 1889 and 1890 before returning to win a further Wimbledon title in 1891. She retained her title in 1892 and 1893 and only lost five matches during her, admittedly brief, career. Her last tennis season as a competitive player was 1893 and she moved on to other pursuits.

Although this was the end of her tennis career it was not the end of her sporting exploits. In winter she would decamp to Sankt Moritz where she perfected her skating well enough to become only the second woman to pass the Sankt Moritz Men’s Skating Test. She also became an accomplished curler and mountaineer and went down the Cresta Run on a toboggan.

Autumn and spring were spent on the hockey pitch. After helping to set up the Spital Hockey club she became the team’s centre forward, went on to play county hockey for Cheshire and finally, in 1899 made her début for the England team in a victory over Ireland. She played against the same opponents the following year – this time scoring both of England’s goals in a 2-1 victory.

In the summers she turned her attention to golf and helped to found a ladies golf club at Moreton on the Wirral Peninsular. In 1894 she entered the British Ladies Amateur Championship for the first time but had to wait four years to make an impact on the competition when she reached the first of her three semi-finals. She was absent from competitive play from 1901 to 1903 but returned in 1904 to record her one and only national title victory on the links at Troon.

In 1905 the Dod family sold their Cheshire estate and moved south to Berkshire. Having occasionally competed in the sport, they joined the Welford Park Archery Club. Living up to the family tradition (their ancestor was reputed to have commanded the English archers at the Battle of Agincourt), Lottie and her brother William soon became proficient and in 1906 she finished fifth in the Grand National tournament. Lottie led the Olympic competition at the White City Stadium at the halfway stage but was overtaken by Queenie Newall on the second day of competition. For once her silver medal was overshadowed by her brother William Dod who unexpectedly won the Olympic title in the men’s event. In 1910 both brother and sister finished as runners-up in the Grand National Archery Meeting though this was to be their final hurrah as far as the sport was concerned. The Welford Archers disbanded in 1911 and the pair drifted away from the sport.

Lottie volunteered as a nurse during World War I, serving in hospitals in London and Berkshire. Dod was a regular visitor to Wimbledon for the rest of her life and died peacefully in 1960 listening to radio commentary of The Championships. She was elected to the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1983.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Representing 2nd NOC As
1908 Summer Olympics Archery Double National Round, Women Olympic 2 Silver GBR Lottie Dod

Olympic family relations