Susie Atwood

Susanne Jean Atwood (born June 5, 1953) is an American former competition swimmer, two-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder in two events.

Susie Atwood
Atwood c. 1972
Personal information
Full nameSusanne Jean Atwood
National teamUnited States
Born (1953-06-05) June 5, 1953
Long Beach, California
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight146 lb (66 kg)
StrokesBackstroke, individual medley
ClubLakewood Aquatic Club

Atwood represented the United States as a 15-year-old at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.[1] She competed in the preliminary heats of the women's 200-meter backstroke, recording a time of 2:35.2, but did not advance.[1]

She garnered significant success three years later at the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia, where she received three medals.[2] She received silver medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke events, and a bronze in the 400-meter individual medley.[2]

Before the 1972 US Olympic Trials, she held the world record in the 200-meter backstroke (2:21.5),[3] though her record would be broken by Melissa Belote at the trials & again by Belote in Munich.

Atwood won two medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.[1] She received the silver medal for her second-place performance (2:20.38) in the women's 200-meter backstroke, finishing behind fellow American Melissa Belote, who set a new world record time in the event (2:19.19).[4] Atwood received a bronze medal for her third-place finish in the women's 100-meter backstroke, coming behind Belote and Hungarian Andrea Gyarmati.[5] She also swam the backstroke leg for the winning U.S. team in the preliminary heats of the women's 4×100-meter medley relay.[6] She did not receive a medal in the medley relay because she did not swim in the event final, and was therefore ineligible to receive a medal under the Olympic swimming rules in effect in 1972.

She became the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes women's swimming and diving team in 1977. Atwood was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 1992.[7]

See also


  1., Olympic Sports, Athletes, Susie Atwood. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  2., Sports History, Pan American Games: Women's Swimming Medalists Archived 2012-12-05 at Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  3. Associated Press, "Susan Atwood, Olympic swimming team hopeful: Thought of gold in Munich drives swimmer to excel," Eugene Register-Guard, p. 5A (August 19, 1972). Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  4., Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games, Women's 200 metres Backstroke Final. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  5., Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games, Women's 100 metres Backstroke Final. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  6., Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games, United States Swimming. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  7. International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Susie Atwood (USA). Retrieved October 21, 2012.

Preceded by

Karen Muir
Women's 200-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

August 14, 1968 – August 5, 1972
Succeeded by

Melissa Belote

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