Dewar, Phyllis

Phyllis Dewar, swimmer (b at Moose Jaw, Sask 5 Mar 1916; d at Toronto 8 Apr 1961). Spurred from age 4 by a strong competitive instinct, Dewar was the best swimmer on the prairies by age 17. She became Canada's aquatic darling at the 1934 British Empire Games by winning gold medals in the 100- and 400-yd freestyle, the 300-yd medley and the 400-yd relay, and was crowned Canada's female athlete of the year. Weakened by flu, she performed poorly in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but regained top form to win another gold medal in the 1938 British Empire Games. After her husband's death in a 1954 car accident, the mother of 4 young children grew despondent; her health failed, and she died at 45.