Gertrude Ederle was born in New York City in 1906. Trudy decided to become a swimmer at the age of 13. She set numerous amateur swimming records in the 1920's. Trudy Ederle was a member of the United States Olympic team in 1924. In 1926, she decided to turn professional by accepting sponsorship so she could swim the English Channel. At the age of 19, she became the first woman to swim the English Channel.