Jeanne Decorne

French swimmer

Jeanne Decorne was a French swimmer and swimming administrator in the 1900s and 1910s from Alfortville.

Jeanne Decorne
Decorne working as a mail carrier during WWI
Personal information
ClubOndine de Paris
Mouettes de Paris
Postes, Télégraphes et Téléphones sports club



She was a member of Ondine de Paris and later of Sirènes, where she also was the president. In 1908, she joined Mouettes de Paris where she became the vice-president. She also represented the sports club of Postes, Télégraphes et Téléphones.[1]



Her first swimming competitions were in 1907. The next year she won several swimming competitions, including at the second day of the world championships the 100 metres event in a time of 1:48.6. In the 100 metres event at the national championships she finished second behind her daughter Eugénie Decorne. Over the next years she also won several swimming competitions, including the women's category at the 1912 and 1913 Traversée de Lille à la nage [fr] open water swimming race.

During the national championships in June 1913 she experimented with a device to remain under water. She was able to remain for over 5 minutes under water. At national championships in August 1913 she won the bronze medal in the 500 metres event. Later, on 24 August, she was able to stay for 18 minutes and 34 seconds under water with a Fernez and Lavegade device during an aquatics festival in Alençon. She participated at Traversée de Paris à la nage [fr], a main open water event, in 1917, 1918 and 1919. In the summmer of 1919 she was training to cross the English Channel. She swam her last swimming competitions in July 1919, winning the 100 metre event at a swimming competition in Calais and competed at the Traversée de Paris à la nage [fr].[1]

Personal life


Decorne was married. Her daughter was swimmer Eugénie Decorne, who died during her career from typhoid fever.[1] She worked for the Postes, Télégraphes et Téléphones. In August 1918 she was the first woman to operate the airmail service between Paris and London.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Velez, Anne (2010). "LES FILLES DE L'EAU. UNE HISTOIRE DES FEMMES ET DE LA NATATION EN FRANCE(1905-1939)" (PDF). Université d’Angers (in French). Retrieved 10 November 2022 – via

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