Athletes 'used and abused': Former Olympian

Olympic medalist Elaine Tanner and her husband, John Watt, are pictured working out in a Barrie gym...

Olympic medalist Elaine Tanner and her husband, John Watt, are pictured working out in a Barrie gym last week. (VERONICA HENRI, QMI Agency)

Sue-Ann Levy, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:44 PM ET

TORONTO - She was the first Canadian woman — at the tender age of 17 — to win an Olympic medal in swimming.

The year was 1968. The venue was Mexico City and swimming legend Elaine Tanner also became the first person ever to take home three medals from a single Olympic Games.

Affectionately named “Mighty Mouse” because of her tiny stature (she’s only five-feet tall) but highly competitive nature, Tanner had already scored big time in the 1967 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg and the Commonwealth Games the year before in Kingston, Jamaica.

During those two events, Mighty Mouse was called to the medals podium an amazing 10 times — winning six golds and four silvers.

But when she retired from competition after the Olympics at just 18 years of age — after being publicly criticized for failing to win gold in Mexico by a mere 5/10ths of a second — the Canadian sports movement tossed her aside like a used piece of garbage.

 


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