Enith Sijtje Maria Brigitha (born 15 April 1955) is a former leading competitive swimmer in the 1970s. She twice represented the Netherlands at the Summer Olympics, starting in 1972 (Munich, West Germany). She won two bronze medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in the women's 100 m and 200 m freestyle. Brigitha twice was named 'Dutch Sportswoman of the Year', in 1973 and 1974. She was the first black athlete to win a swimming medal in the Olympics.[1][2]

Enith Brigitha
Personal information
Full nameEnith Sijtje Maria Brigitha
National teamNetherlands
Born (1955-04-15) 15 April 1955 (age 69)
Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles
Sport
SportSwimming
StrokesFreestyle, backstroke
Medal record
Women's swimming
Representing the  Netherlands
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1976 Montreal [[Swimming at the 1979


Summer Olympics – Women's 100 metre freestyle|100 m freestyle]]
Bronze medal – third place 1976 Montreal 200 m freestyle
World Championships (LC)
Silver medal – second place 1973 Belgrade 200 m backstroke
Bronze medal – third place 1973 Belgrade 100 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1975 Cali 100 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1975 Cali 200 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1975 Cali 4×100 m medley
European Championships (LC)
Silver medal – second place 1974 Vienna 200 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1974 Vienna 4×100 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1977 Jönköping 100 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1977 Jönköping 4×100 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1974 Vienna 100 m freestyle
Bronze medal – third place 1974 Vienna 100 m backstroke
Bronze medal – third place 1974 Vienna 200 m backstroke

East Germany doping controversy edit

In the 100m freestyle, Brigitha finished behind two swimmers from East Germany, a country proven to have engaged in systematic doping of its athletes in the Montreal 1976 Olympic games.[3] As a result, other athletes have called for Brigitha to be officially awarded the gold in the 100m freestyle and silver in the 200m freestyle. Brigitha has said she considers herself a gold medal winner.[2]

American Shirley Babashoff, who would have earned three individual golds were it not for the East Germans, has been outspoken about this issue. She supports Brigitha and swimmers from other countries who were adversely affected by the East German illegal practices.[4]

References edit

  1. ^ "Enith Brigitha" Archived 2012-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, Sports Reference
  2. ^ a b Mike Gustafson (2012-02-15) "Acknowledging Enith Brigitha", USA Swimming
  3. ^ Brent Rutemiller (2013-11-28) "Doping's Darkest Hour", Swimming World Magazine
  4. ^ Brent Rutemiller (2016-02-05) "Babashoff Breaks Silence", Swimming World Magazine
Awards
Preceded by Dutch Sportswoman of the Year
1973–1974
Succeeded by