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Anne Ross Fairbanks
Date: 1923–2009
Remarks: ISHOF Honor Diver, Anne Ross Fairbanks... of those World War II period athletes who most assuredly would have drawn a bead on an Olympic gold medal had there been games in 1940 and 1944. During those years, she was unquestionably the Queen of American Springboard Diving, winning 9 US AAU national titles, when USA diving was number one in the world. Born to Kenneth Ward Ross and Mary Wells Ross in Port Washington, Long Island, on November 28, 1923, Anne graduated from Port Washington High School as valedictorian. She received her bachelor's degree from Barnard College in N.Y., and a master's in physical education from Wellesley College in Mass. She was the author of the book, Teaching Springboard Diving, and dozens of articles, a lecturer and teacher in five colleges and universities here and in South Africa; she has conducted workshops and clinics in 116 different cities in synchronized swimming as well as in her first love springboard diving. Anne began diving at an early age at the St. George Dragon Club in Brooklyn, and was U.S. National Springboard Champion from 1940-1944. She moved women's diving into the gymnastics realm of men and still had the grace that always went with women's diving. In her diving Anne was most outstanding for her height from the board. This was particularly note-worthy in those days of wooden boards with cocoa matting strips. She was the first woman to execute the 2 1/2 somersault pike in competition, and while a stray "10" or two were awarded, her proudest moment in performance was when five 9 1/2's were announced (5 judges) for an inward 1 1/2 somersault in pike position (3m). Named to the "Mythical Olympic Team" of 1944, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984. - Source: International Swimming Hall of Fame