Ms Gertrude Ederle denied that her ukulele playing in anyway contributed to her failure to make the swim across the English Channel (The News, 17 September 1925).
Her trainer, Jabez Wolffe, claimed that she neglected her training to play the happy little instrument. “That’s a lie,” said Ms Ederle. “I played my ukelele only during the evening after the day’s training had been concluded. It was my relaxation.” She insisted that she had done everything in training that her coach had required. Ms Ederlie’s first attempt failed when her trainer ordered another swimmer to take her out of the water. He claimed that she was in difficulty; she denied that too.
Happily, in 1926, she succeeded in her second attempt at the channel, finishing the swim in 14 hours 30 minutes and breaking the previous record (held by Enrique Tiraboschi) by about 2 hours. Her record stood 24 years.