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Grinham in 1958
|Full name||Judith Brenda Grinham|
|National team||Great Britain|
March 5, 1939|
|Club||Hampstead Ladies SC|
Judith Brenda Grinham, MBE (born 5 March 1939), also known by her married name Judith Rowley, is an English former competitive swimmer who represented Great Britain in the Olympics and European championships, and competed for England in the Commonwealth Games. Grinham is an Olympic gold medallist, Commonwealth and European champion, and former world record-holder. In 1956 and 1958 she was chosen as Great Britain's Sportswoman of the Year. In 1958 she became the first woman to win Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles.
Grinham was born in the London suburb of Hampstead and grew up in Neasden. She studied at the Convent of Jesus & Mary, Harlesden, London NW10. She married Pat Rowley in Neasden in 1960, in St. Catherine's Church. They had two children, Keith (born in June 1961) and Alison.
Grinham competed in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, winning the 100-metre backstroke, and setting a world record at in 1:12.9. She became the first Briton to win an Olympic swimming gold since Lucy Morton in 1924.
Grinham competed in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales, and won the 100-metre backstroke in 1:11.9. She went on to win a second gold medal as a member of the winning British team in the 4×100-metre medley team at the 1958 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and won an individual gold in the 100-metre backstroke. She became the first athlete in any sport to hold Olympic, Commonwealth and European gold medals at the same time.
Grinham retired from competitions in 1959. The same year she appeared as a P.T. instructor in the Associated British Technicolor war time service comedy "Operation Bullshine", alongside stars Donald Sinden; Barbara Murray; Carole Lesley; Joan Rice and Dora Bryan, but never made another film.
In 2007, she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, 50 years after winning gold in Melbourne.
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