Third Time Was A Charm In Canada For Margaret Ravior And Marvin ‘Duke’ Nelson

Courtesy of Lee Shimano, Canadian National Exhibition.

Marvin “Duke” Nelson, an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame from Iowa, did not finish his first two attempts at the prestigious Canadian National Exhibition races in 1928 and 1929.

But he came into his own in his victory at the 1930 15-mile world championship race at the Canadian National Exhibition in a field of 273 swimmers.

He was among his contemporary giants in the sport: Ernest Vierkoetter, George Young, William “Bill” Sadlo, Jr., Francis “Frank” Pritchard, and Norman Ross.

Margaret Ravior won the female race in 1930 – the first of her three-peat victories at the CNE where she also won in 1931 and 1932.

Nelson won $10,000 for the 15-mile victory which would be worth over $155,000 in today’s Canadian dollars (US$118,703). Ravior won $5,000 for her 10-mile victory which would be worth over $77,500 in today’s Canadian dollars (US$59,025). Not a bad payday at all.

Canadian superstar George Young would eventually win the CNE in 1931.

Copyright © 2008 – 2020 by World Open Water Swimming Association