Gold Medal, Fancy Springboard Diving
5th Place, Plain Highboard Diving
Bronze Medal, 100-Meter Backstroke
Silver Medal, Fancy Springboard Diving
1920 Olympic Games
Aileen Riggin took up diving at the age of 13 and practiced in a tide pool on Long Island near where she lived. She was only 14 years old when she won the very first Gold medal in the Women’s 3-meter springboard diving competition at the 1920 Olympics. Not only was she the youngest competitor at the Olympics, she was the lightest, weighing only 65 pounds.
1924 Olympic Games
At the ripe old age of 18, Aileen Riggin returned to the Olympic Games in 1924 to defend her title. In the interim, she had won National AAU Outdoor Springboard Diving titles in 1923 and 1924 and was on the winning AAU 4 x 220-meter freestyle relay team in 1923 and 1924. She had also won one diving title and three freestyle relay titles at the National AAU Indoor Championships in 1922 and 1923.
She competed in both diving and swimming in Paris. Aileen won the Silver medal in the 3-meter springboard diving event and a Bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke swimming event. She was acknowledged as the first female Olympian to win medals in two different sports at the same Olympic Games.
Aileen entered Masters swimming races on the local, national and international level, and held world records in her age group in a number of events until she was in her late 80s.
She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1967 as a swimmer/diver, the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame in 2002, and to the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Waterman Hall of Fame in 2011.
Aileen moved to Hawaii with her second husband, Howard Soule, in 1957 and joined the Outrigger Canoe Club. She swam in the ocean nearly every day. She competed for Outrigger teams in masters meets for many years, setting world masters records for her various age groups.
As the oldest living Olympian, she was Team USA’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.