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Ex-Kovsie swimming legend passes away
2013-04-03

03 April 2013

The University of the Free State (UFS) expresses its condolences to the friends and family of former Kovsie and swimming legend, Dr Karen Muir. Dr Muir passed away on 2 April 2013 in Mossel Bay, after battling cancer for a number of years.

Dr Muir enrolled at the UFS in 1971 and completed her MB ChB in 1977. Despite her academic prowess, it was in the swimming pool that Dr Muir achieved even greater acclaim.

Dr Muir was the youngest person ever to hold a world record in swimming or any other international sporting discipline. As a twelve-year old in 1965, she beat the then record time in the 110-m backstroke. After her initial success, she went on to set fifteen more world records in a variety of swim strokes.

During her career she won 22 South African Championships, three United States National Championships and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1980.

After matriculating in 1970 from Diamantveld High in Kimberley, she retired from swimming to focus full-time on her medical studies. Since then she practised as a physician in Africa and from 2000 onward, in Canada, after relocating.

“We as a faculty mourn her passing and extend our deepest sympathy to her loved ones, family and friends,” said Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

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