Passages: Suzanne Zimmerman, 1948 Olympic Silver Medalist, 95

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Photo Courtesy: Chandler Brandes

Suzanne Zimmerman Edwards, who won a silver medal in the women’s 100 backstroke at the 1948 Olympics, died on March 14. She was 95 years of age.

Zimmerman was born in Lake Grove, Oregon, in 1925. She attended West Linn High School and Willamette University. At age 15, she joined the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, coached by International Swimming Hall of Famer Jack Cody. The group, known as the “Cody Kids” won three national team titles, 42 individual national championships and 16 relay titles across the country.

Zimmerman won 15 national titles in an eight-year career. The high point came in 1948 at the London Olympics, for which Zimmerman qualified in the 100 backstroke. She went 1:16.8 in prelims and semifinals, taking third and second, respectively, at those levels.

In the final, Zimmerman went 1:16.0 to take the silver medal. She was beaten by Karen Margrethe Harup of Denmark, who set an Olympic record of 1:15.5 in the semifinals and broke it in finals at 1:14.4.

Zimmerman and her husband Gordon, who predeceased her, traveled the world before she settled in the Portland area to start a family in 1974. She is survived by two children and two grandchildren. She was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.