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  • Writer's pictureStacyBurch

Women in the Water - My #SunWriteFun Entry!

With the summer Olympics right around the corner, it seems many in the writing world are buzzing with excitement for sports-themed stories - including me! Time to write a GRAND SLAM!

This summer's #SunWriteFun writing contest, hosted by Karen M. Greenwald and Jennifer Buchet, asks entrants to submit one 200-word Non-Fiction/Informational Fiction story. Geared toward ages 4-12, the story must relate to sports and/or sportsmanship.

As a competitive swimmer for most of my youth, I was immediately drawn to the story of the 1900s swimmer, Sarah "Fanny" Durack, and her rival, Wilhelmina "Mina" Wylie. In 1912, few swimming clubs in the world permitted women to swim in front of men, even when the first-ever swimming event for women was added to the 1912 Olympics. Fanny and Mina were initially told "no" when they asked their Australian New South Wales Ladies' Amateur Swimming Association to support their entry and fund the trip. But, many of Australians rose their voices in support of the women, especially the wildly talented Fanny Durack. Eventually, the swimming club agreed to allow the women to compete if they could fund the trip for themselves and their chaperones, which they did.

In the end, Fanny captured the gold AND Mina took silver, bringing home two medals for Australia, the very first for women in Olympic swimming.

Enjoy my 200-word story!

Women in the Water


Fanny Durack touched the wall,

seconds behind Mina Wylie.

The first Olympic female swimming races were a month away.

Fanny would need to swim faster to beat her rival, Mina –

if the women could go.


The pair practiced, again and again,

though their swimming club said they could not compete.

For in 1912, many thought women should not swim in front of men.

But many disagreed.

The people rallied for the swimmers,

cheering and chanting for national pride in Australasia’s daughters.

In the end, the club conceded –

if Fanny and Mina paid their own way.


The pair practiced, again and again,

and fundraised tirelessly when out of the water.

Nothing could stop them.

Not rivalry. Not money.

Not shoulds and should nots.

And the women went to Stockholm.

Who would become the first champion?


100m freestyle.

Four lengths.


Arms burned.

Legs thrashed.


Fingers reached for the wall, for victory…

and the crowd erupted.

Gold for Fanny,

silver for Mina –

two medals for the daughters of Australasia.

Once rivals in the pool,

Fanny and Mina now stood as friends on the podium.


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