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June Krauser: Senior Mermaid

Posted By Patrick Kiger On August 11, 2014 @ 7:27 pm In Bulletin Today,Legacy | No Comments

It’s probably pretty rare to have someone launch a sports competition and then also excel in it. But that’s the story of June Krauser.

June Krauser [1]Krauser, who died on Aug. 9 at age 88 in Pompano Beach, Fla., was one of the founders of U.S. Masters Swimming [2], a competition established in 1970 that provides swimmers an opportunity to compete against swimmers in their own age group, right up to the centenarian level [3]. But Krauser did more than just write the program’s rules and policies. She showed that she still had the ability that made her a  top competitive swimmer in high school and college, by entering competitions and setting 154 age-group world records in various events from 1972 to 2002.

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Here are some facts about Krauser and her achievements as an athlete and organizer.


  • Krauser learned to swim in Lake Michigan at age 4. Her mother was a competitive swimmer, basketball player and roller skater.


  • She and her sister Cynthia both won national Amateur Athletic Union swimming titles in the 1940s, but World War II stymied their chance to compete in the Olympics.


  • She went to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., where she competed on the swim team and graduated with a degree in home economics before starting a family with her businessman husband, who died in 2000.


  • In the 1960s, she remained involved in swimming as a member of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Swim Committee, and she reorganized and enforced the organization’s official rule book.


  • In 1970, after a U.S. Navy physician, Ransom Arthur, persuaded Coaches Association President John Spannuth to organize a national age-group championship meet for older swimmers, Spannuth enlisted Krauser to write the rules and organize the program. “She was the most efficient person I ever knew,” Spannuth told Swimming World magazine [5]. “She was able to take our ideas and turn them into a program with policies, procedures and rules to follow.”


  • Krauser also decided to start training again and compete in meets, but insisted on taking a year to prepare so that she could regain her elite form. She first entered a meet in 1972, at age 46, and that year she set records in the 45-49 age group for the 200- and 500-meter freestyle, the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke and the 50-meter butterfly.


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  • In 2000, she had perhaps her finest year as a swimmer, setting 13 world records in the 70-74 age group. The following year, when she competed in the 75-79 group, she accomplished perhaps her most impressive feat: breaking 8 minutes in the 400-meter individual medley. Prior to that, no swimmer her age had ever even broken 4 minutes in the 200-meter individual medley.


  • When Spannuth went to work for Sargent Shriver in developing the Special Olympics, he enlisted Krauser to help write the rules for the swimming portion of that competition as well.



  • For years, Krauser swam 2.5 miles a day at a pool in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she was known for her aversion to sharing her lane.


Photo: International Swimming Hall of Fame


Also of Interest


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-obit-june-krauser-swimmer-jpg-20140805,0,409352.photo

[2] U.S. Masters Swimming: http://www.usms.org/

[3] centenarian level: http://www.vaswim.org/2012/05/marie-kelleher-breaks-barrier/

[4] >> Photos: Famous People We’ve Lost in 2014: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/style-trends/info-2014/celebrity-death-photo.html#slide1?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG

[5] Swimming World magazine: http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/june-krauser-the-mother-of-masters-swimming-dead-at-88-years-old/

[6] >> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://discounts.aarp.org/travel/index/uSource/HCTN?intcmp=AE-BL-TRV-DISC

[7] International Swimming Hall of Fame: http://www.ishof.org/news/june-krauser.htm

[8] Jim Brady: A Bullet Couldn’t Stop Him: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/08/04/jim-brady-a-bullet-couldnt-stop-him/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[9] The Simplest, Cheapest Weight-Loss Trick Ever: http://www.aarp.org/food/diet-nutrition/info-09-2010/health_discovery_the_simplest_cheapest_weight_loss_trick_ever.html?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

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[11] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?keycode=U9ZTPH9&intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[12] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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