‘Ellie’ (Daniel) Drye: Abington grad, two-time Olympic swimmer, gold medal winner, former world record-holder

Eleanor “Ellie” (Daniel) Drye, a 1967 graduate of Abington Senior High School, is a four-time Olympic medalist and former world record-holder in swimming.

After winning seven AAU national championships, Daniel went on to win two gold medals at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, one for the 100-meter butterfly and the other in the 4×100-meter medley relay.

Daniel represented the United States at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, where she won a gold medal in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay and set a new Olympic record of 4:28.3. She also won a silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly and a bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly.

She received a bronze medal in 200-meter butterfly at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, and finished sixth in the 100-meter butterfly.

Daniel held the 200-meter butterfly (long course) world record (2:18.4) from August 1971 to August 1972. She was a national champion seven times and took 14 individual American and/or national records during her career.

In 1975, at the Mexico City Pan American Games, and again in 1976, at the Montreal Olympic Games, Ellie was elected by the United States Olympic Committee to serve as athlete liaison for all sports between the US athletes and the USOC administrators. 

From 1973 through 1980, she was an Athletes Advisory Council member and from 1977 through 1980, she was a United States Olympic Committee Board member. In helping to prepare for the 1984 Olympic Games, she served on the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, Cultural/Fine Arts Commission, Olympian Advisory Commission, Olympic Spirit Team and the LA Olympic Committee Speakers Bureau.

Daniel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976 where she double majored in psychology and elementary education. She later attended law school and is or was a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an “Honor Swimmer” in 1997 and is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame.

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