In 1912 George 'Looper' Godfrey became the first Springbok swimmer when he competed at the Helsinki Olympic Games, without medal success. The first Olympic medal was won by South Africans was the women's 4x100m freestyle relay at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. Oonagh Whitsitt win the one ever international medal in diving competition at the Empire Games in 1930, while Jennie Maakal won bronze at the 1932 Olympic Games.
In 1952 Joan Harrison wins the first South African Olympic swimming gold medal , and women won another relay medal at Melbourne in 1956. The era ends with Laura Ranwell setting an Olympic record at Rome in 1960