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Jean Hurring, the only NZ woman to win an Olympic swimming medal, dies aged 89

Jean Hurring, the only New Zealand woman to win an Olympic swimming medal, died peacefully on Saturday, aged 89.

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Jean Hurring, nee Stewart, was a pioneer in the pool, with her huge hours of training leading to her win the bronze medal for backstroke at the 1952 Olympics In Helsinki. Source: 1 NEWS

Hurring, nee Stewart, was the matriarch of one of NZ’s first families of swimming.

She was a pioneer in the pool, with her huge hours of training leading to her winning the bronze medal for backstroke at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

Racing in lane six, the medal was, for a moment, in doubt.

“Another official came over and said, 'No you didn't,' and so I climbed out and just hung around and thought, 'Well, I've blown it.' Then they called me up to the dais and I had got third place,” she previously recalled.

It's the same games that saw her roommate, the late Dame Yvette Corlett, win gold in the long jump.

Hurring went on to marry her Olympic teammate Lincoln, and their son Gary became one of New Zealand's best swimmers and head coach at the Rio Olympics.