Medals changing hands after the Olympics

The Australian Athletics Federation is looking to overturn Olympic results from 1948 and 1980. It hopes to help Shirley Strickland to a bronze medal in the 1948 200 m and Ian Campbell to a gold in the 1980 triple jump. Although it’s not very likely that they will be successful, medal changes years after the fact are not without precedent in Olympic history. In fact, even if the 1948 result changes 67 years after the fact, it wouldn’t even be a record.

We’ve made a compilation of occasions in Olympic history when the medal results changed at least a month after the end of the Games. All doping related cases have been excluded – they warrant an article of their own.

1904

All Olympic record books list the silver medallist in the 1904 lightweight boxing event as Jack Egan (sometimes spelled Eagan). He lost the final on decision to Harry Spanjer, while Russell Van Horn took third place. But more than a year later, Egan was discovered to have been fighting under an alias. This was not uncommon at the time, as many more wealthy citizens did not want to be associated with sports. Egan’s real name was Frank Floyd, and he came from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. While this may not seem serious, by the rules of the AAU it was illegal to fight under an assumed name, a so-called ringer. In November 1905, the AAU decided that Egan would be disqualified from all AAU competitions, and he would have to return his prizes. The Atlantic Association that had knowingly accepted Floyd’s application as Egan was also expelled from the AAU.

This late decision to revise the Olympic results in this event has, as far as we know, never been published since the events in 1905, and was only rediscovered in 2008 by Taavi Kalju (a member of the OlyMADMen, just like the authors of this blog). More than 100 years after the fact, Peter Sturholdt can be recognized as a new Olympic medallist – all the more remarkable considering he never won a single fight.

1912

The star athlete of the 1912 Olympics was American Jim Thorpe. He had overwhelmingly won both the pentathlon and the decathlon events.  The King of Sweden gave him his gold medals and told him, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.”

In early 1913, it was revealed that Thorpe had played minor league baseball in the United States. For this he was retroactively declared a professional by the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) and the IOC and his records at the 1912 Olympics were declared void. He had to return his gold medals. What is not so well known is that Thorpe should never have been disqualified in the first place.

An all-round athlete, Thorpe also played professional football, baseball and basketball

Over the years numerous attempts were made to get the IOC to reverse the decision, mostly started by Thorpe’s children. Some efforts succeeded gradually. In 1973, the AAU restored Thorpe’s amateur status for the years 1909-1912. This was followed in 1975 by the United States Olympic Committee making a similar restoration.

In 1982, the Thorpe family, aided by Bob Wheeler, one of Thorpe’s biographers, and his wife, Florence Ridlon, succeeded in their long struggle to have Jim Thorpe’s medals restored by the International Olympic Committee. It was revealed in Sports Illustrated that a key factor in this decision was a discovery by Ridlon, who found a pamphlet in the Library of Congress which gave the rules and regulations for the 1912 Olympic Games. It stated that the statute of limitations for a claim against any Olympic athlete’s eligibility in 1912 had to have been made within 30 days after the awarding of the prizes. The announcement of Thorpe’s professional baseball career occurred in January 1913. Thus it was almost six months after the end of the Olympics and his disqualification was completely unwarranted.

On 27 February 1982, Wheeler and Ridlon founded The Jim Thorpe Foundation, expressly for the purpose of moving to have his medals and honors restored. On 13 October 1982, only eight months after the formation of The Jim Thorpe Foundation, but fully 70 years too late, the IOC Executive Board approved, in a sense, the restoration of Jim Thorpe’s medals, declaring him co-winner with Sweden’s Hugo Wieslander (decathlon) and Norway’s Ferdinand Bie (pentathlon). At a meeting of the IOC Executive Board, this time on 18 January 1983 in Los Angeles, commemorative medals were presented to Bill and Gail Thorpe, two of Thorpe’s children.

1924

The inaugural Olympic ski jumping competition ended with a clean sweep for the Norwegians – or so it seemed.

Anders Haugen – Olympic medallist after 50 years.

Almost 40 years later, Thoralf Strømstad – a silver medallist in the cross country and Nordic combined at the 1924 Games – contacted Norwegian ski historian Jacob Vaage, claiming that the points from the ski jumping event for Thorleif Haug had been miscalculated, and that his final points should be behind Haugen’s. Vaage checked the case and had to agree with the 77-year-old Strømstad. In 1974 IOC decided to award the bronze medal to Haugen, at that time an elderly gentleman of 86. He was invited to Norway, and at a nice ceremony Haug’s bronze medal from 1924 was handed over to Haugen by Haug’s youngest daughter. Thorleif Haug himself died already in December 1934 from pneumonia at the age of 40. But Haugen was pleased to meet some of his Norwegian competitors from 1924: Narve Bonna, Einar Landvik and also Thoralf Strømstad, the man responsible for justice being made after 40 years.

1952

America’s Ed Sanders created carnage in the heavyweight boxing division in Helsinki as he battered his way to the final with three brutal knockout victories. His opponent in the final, Sweden’s Ingemar Johansson, appeared to be completely intimidated by the American’s reputation and spent most of the fight backpedalling around the ring. When Sanders did get into range Johansson would simply grab hold of his opponent. Eventually an increasingly irate referee grew tired of warning the Swede and disqualified him for “not trying”. This also had the effect of denying Johansson his silver medal and the second step on the podium remained vacant.

Ingemar Johansson, who waited almost three decades to receive his silver medal.

Johansson did become a household name as a professional when he became the first European to win the World Heavyweight Championship for over 20 years after knocking out Olympic champion Floyd Patterson. In 1982, 30 years after his Olympic embarrassment, Johansson was finally awarded his silver medal after the IOC were persuaded to reverse their decision.

But Johansson was not the only boxer from 1952 to receive his medal late. In 1950, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) had decided to eliminated the bronze medal match, having the losing finalists place an equal third. This was accepted by the IOC, on condition that they would not receive a bronze medal. This is indeed what happened in Helsinki.

But 1970, the president of the Finnish Boxing Association brought up the subject with AIBA, noting the absence of bronze medals in the boxing events to be an injustice. The AIBA President, Rudyard Russell, concurred and contacted the IOC. They received approval for the matter through IOC director Monique Berlioux, although no formal decision was made during an IOC Session. Six of the 20 losing semi-finalists received the medal in a ceremony in Finland on 2-3 April 1970, while the others received theirs in the mail.

1964

The pair’s competition at the Innsbruck figure skating was won by the Soviet husband-wife pair of Lyudmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov, beating the favored German pair of Marika Kilius and Hans-Jürgen Bäumler. Shortly after the Innsbruck Olympics, it was revealed that Kilius/Bäumler had signed a professional contract prior to the event to perform with Holiday on Ice. This should have disqualified them as professionals, but strangely no definite action was initially taken against them by the IOC or the International Skating Union.

Kilius and Bäumler (left) at the 1964 medal ceremony

A few weeks later they won the World Championships, defeating Belousova and Protopopov. It was felt that the West German Olympic Committee, lobbying the IOC for the 1972 Olympic bid, wanted to present themselves in the best possible manner and encouraged the German skaters to return their medals. The IOC formed a special sub-committee to examine the case, and the minutes of the Executive Committee note, “A special sub-committee under Ivar Vind had studied the case of the German figure skaters. They had been found ‘non-amateurs’. Willi Daume said that ‘The German NOC will do what is necessary.’

At the 65th IOC session the IOC passed a resolution, which was printed in the Olympic Review, volume 95, page 39, from 15 August 1966 which stated, “We have received the silver medals back, and we will award them to the original third-place finishers. The bronze medals will be awarded to the original fourth-place finishers.” In January 1966, Kilius/Bäumler returned their silver medals to the IOC. Silver medals were awarded to Wilkes and Revell by Canadian IOC Member James Worrall during the 1967 Canadian Figure Skating Championships, while the Josephs received bronze medals from USOC President Tug Wilson at a small private ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago, during the 1966 USA Figure Skating Championships. However, no action was ever taken by the ISU, who continued to list Kilius/Bäumler as silver medalists and World Champions in 1964.

However, the controversy did not end there. In 1987, the German NOC rather surreptitiously requested the return of the silver medals to Kilius and Bäumler, which was in keeping with the ISU ruling as well. They asked the IOC to do this, stating that it was known that other skaters had signed similar contracts in that era. At the 1987 IOC Session in Istanbul, the IOC approved this request and the Germans received new silver medals on 5 December 1987, when German NOC president Willi Daume presented replicas of the originals to Kilius and Bäumler on the German television show “Sportstudio”.

Contacted in the late 90s, Debbi Wilkes and Vivian Joseph knew nothing of this, and still thought the German pair had been disqualified. Wilkes and Revell kept their silver medals, in fact, Revell’s medal was buried with him after his death, and the Josephs kept their bronze medals. Thus four silver medals were eventually awarded in this event. The IOC lists did not change the standings for many years, but recognizing that two sets of silver medals have been awarded in this event, now list Kilius/Bäumler and Wilkes/Revell as =2nd and as silver medalists, and have the Josephs in 3rd place with bronze medals. The ISU has never changed the original rankings, continuing to list Kilius/Bäumler 2nd, Wilkes/Revell 3rd, and the Josephs 4th.

1968

In a similar case to the 1952 boxing, American featherweight Al Robinson was disqualified in the final against home fighter Antonio Roldán. In a dubious decision, Robinson was disqualified for head butting. As in 1952, this officially ruled him out of a silver medal. However, US officials protested the decision and Robinson received the medal after returning home. He did not enjoy it for long, as he fell into a coma during training in 1971, and eventually died three years later.

1984

The women’s 100 m hurdles, severely hurt by the Soviet boycott, saw Benita Fitzgerald-Brown edge out Shirley Strong (GBR). Third-place was announced at first as a dead heat between Kim Turner (USA) and France’s Michele Chardonnet, but after reviewing photos of the finish, the judges reversed themselves and gave the bronze medal to Turner. But Chardonnet was not informed of this until she was standing on the infield awaiting the medal ceremony, and she left the field sobbing. The French Athletics Federation protested and 3½ months later the decision was reverted to a dead-heat. Chardonnet received her bronze medal six months after the Olympics ended.

Kim Turner (right) on her way to a shared bronze.

 

1992

Canadian Sylvie Fréchette, the 1991 World Champion and World Cup Champion was favored to win the women’s solo synchronized swimming event at the Barcelona Games. She was expected to be challenged by American Kristin Babb-Sprague, who was stronger in the freestyle final routine. Fréchette was expected to open a lead in the technical figures. But in that segment, Brazilian judge Maria de Silveira gave Fréchette an unaccountably low score of 8.7. De Silveira maintained that she had made a mistake and hit the wrong button, and meant to give her a score of 9.7. But the score could not be changed, per the FINA rules. The Canadians appealed the decision after the technical figures, but this was overturned 11-2, the two dissenting votes coming from the Canadian members of the Jury of Appeal. This let Babb-Sprague take the lead after the technical figures, and Fréchette was unable to overcome that lead, as Babb-Sprague seemingly won the gold medal.

Fréchette hugs Babb-Sprague from the silver medal section of the podium.

But that would not be the end of it. Dick Pound, powerful Canadian IOC Member, led a further appeal to have the results overturned. FINA eventually caved to the pressure and elected to declare Fréchette and Babb-Sprague as co-champions, and awarded Fréchette a gold medal in October 1993.

2000

Dong Fangxiao, who was only 14 years old at the time of the Sydney Olympics

 

As a member of the Chinese women’s gymnastics team at the Sydney Olympics, Dong Fangxiao earned a bronze medal. Eight years later, she was entered as an official for the Beijing Olympics. The birth information she used for that application – stating a birth year of 1986 – was different from the one used at the Sydney Games, when she claimed to have been born in 1983.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) launched an investigation, as a birth year of 1986 would have made Dong only 14 at the time of the Sydney Olympics, two years under the age limit of 16. The FIG concluded 1986 was Dong’s actual birth year, and disqualified her from the 2000 Games. The IOC went along with that verdict, and handed the bronze medal from the team all-around to the United States.

James Wolfensohn

Parameter Value
Full Name James David Wolfensohn
Born 1 December 1933 in Sydney; New South Wales

James Wolfensohn competed for Australia in fencing at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics but his business career has far outshone his sporting one. He received a degree in law from the University of Sydney and worked briefly as a lawyer in Australia before attending Harvard Business School. After receiving his MBA he worked in Switzerland, Australia, and London before settling in the United States as a senior executive with Salomon Brothers. In 1980 he became a US citizen, and began his own investment firm, James D. Wolfensohn, Inc., which included among its partners Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank.

James Wolfensohn

In 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated Wolfensohn to become President of the World Bank, and he assumed that post on 1 July 1995. The bank’s board of executive directors unanimously supported him for a second five-year term in 2000, and he became only the third person to serve two terms in that position.

After leaving the World Bank he formed Wolfensohn & Company, LLC, a private investment firm and advisory group that provided consulting advice to governments and large corporations. He also became chairman of the International Advisory Board of Citigroup. He also served one year as special envoy for Gaza Disengagement for the Quartet in the Middle East, a post to which he was named by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In 2005, James Wolfensohn also founded the Wolfensohn Center for Development at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank.

He has received numerous honors. He was an honorary trustee of the Brookings Institution, trustee and former chairman of the board for the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, chairman emeritus of the Carnegie Hall, and of the John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts in Washington, and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 1987 and received an honorary knighthood and OBE in 1995.

Games/Sport Event Position
1956 Fencing Men’s Team Épée 4 p1 r1/3

Silver and Bronze Medal Trivia

OK, we know that Michael Phelps has won the most Olympic medals, with 22, and the most Olympic gold medals, with 18. But what about silver and bronze medals – who has the most of the other podium medals?

For silver medals the list of all those with 5 or more is as follows:

Silvers Name Gdr Ssn NOC Sport
6 Aleksandr Dityatin M S URS GYM
6 Mikhail Voronin M S URS GYM
6 Shirley Babashoff F S USA SWI
5 Larysa Latynina F S URS GYM
5 Nikolay Andrianov M S URS GYM
5 Edoardo Mangiarotti M S ITA FEN
5 Raisa Smetanina F W EUN/URS CCS
5 Aleksandr Popov M S EUN/RUS SWI
5 Raisa Smetanina F W URS CCS
5 Zoltán von Halmay M S HUN SWI
5 Leisel Jones F S AUS SWI
5 Anky van Grunsven F S NED EQU
5 Yury Titov M S URS GYM
5 Katalin Kovács F S HUN CAN
5 Mariya Horokhovska F S URS GYM
5 Gustavo Marzi M S ITA FEN
5 Andrea Ehrig-Schöne-Mitscherlich F W GDR SSK
5 Dagmar Hase F S GER SWI
5 Bogdan Musiol M W GDR/GER BOB
5 Viktor Lisitsky M S URS GYM

How about individual silver medals? Who has the most of those? Here are all those who have won 4 or more individual silver medals?

IndSilvers Name Gdr Ssn NOC Sport
5 Larysa Latynina F S URS GYM
5 Aleksandr Dityatin M S URS GYM
5 Shirley Babashoff F S USA SWI
5 Andrea Ehrig-Schöne-Mitscherlich F W GDR SSK
4 Raisa Smetanina F W EUN/URS CCS
4 Raisa Smetanina F W URS CCS
4 Zoltán von Halmay M S HUN SWI
4 Mikhail Voronin M S URS GYM
4 Karin Enke-Kania F W GDR SSK
4 Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann-Kleemann F W GER SSK
4 Mariya Horokhovska F S URS GYM
4 Kirsty Coventry F S ZIM SWI
4 Kateřina Neumannová F W CZE CCS
4 Hryhoriy Misiutin M S EUN/UKR GYM
4 David Cal M S ESP CAN
4 Hryhoriy Misiutin M S EUN GYM
4 Frankie Fredericks M S NAM ATH
4 Ivica Kostelić M W CRO ASK

What about those who have won silver medals but no other Olympic medal? All they won were silver medals. Somewhat surprisingly, 10 Olympians have won 4 or more silvers, but no other Olympic medals. And here they are:

Silvers Name Gdr Ssn NOC Sport
5 Viktor Lisitsky M S URS GYM
4 Frankie Fredericks M S NAM ATH
4 Ivica Kostelić M W CRO ASK
4 Tsuyoshi Yamanaka M S JPN SWI
4 Hilkka Riihivuori-Kuntola F W FIN CCS
4 Vincenzo Pinton M S ITA FEN
4 Ian Stark M S GBR EQU
4 Frank Wiegand M S GDR/GER SWI
4 Kara Lynn Joyce F S USA SWI
4 Renzo Nostini M S ITA FEN

What about those athletes who only won individual silver medals – no team medals, no golds, no bronzes? We got that list too – here it is:

IndSilvers Name Gdr Ssn NOC Sport
4 Frankie Fredericks M S NAM ATH
4 Ivica Kostelić M W CRO ASK
3 Viktor Lisitsky M S URS GYM
3 Tsuyoshi Yamanaka M S JPN SWI
3 Raelene Boyle F S AUS ATH
3 Thor Henning M S SWE SWI
3 Peter-Michael Kolbe M S FRG ROW
3 Tim McKee M S USA SWI
3 Leah Poulos-Mueller F W USA SSK
3 Robert Pražák M S TCH GYM
3 Tan Liangde M S CHN DIV
3 Aleksandar Tomov M S BUL WRE
3 Ernie Webb M S GBR ATH

OK, that’s it for silver medal trivia. What about bronze medals? Who has the most of them? Here is that list:

Bronzes Name Gdr Ssn NOC Sport
6 Aleksey Nemov M S RUS GYM
6 Franziska van Almsick F S GER SWI
6 Heikki Savolainen M S FIN GYM
6 Merlene Ottey-Page F S JAM ATH
6 Harri Kirvesniemi M W FIN CCS
5 Natalie Coughlin F S USA SWI
5 Stefania Belmondo F W ITA CCS
5 Daniel Revenu M S FRA FEN
5 Phil Edwards M S CAN ATH
5 Antje Buschschulte F S GER SWI
5 Arie de Jong M S NED FEN

And here is the list of those winning the most individual bronze medals:

IndBronzes Name Gdr Ssn NOC Sport
5 Aleksey Nemov M S RUS GYM
5 Merlene Ottey-Page F S JAM ATH
4 Takashi Ono M S JPN GYM
4 Vitaly Shcherbo M S BLR/EUN GYM
4 Dmitry Sautin M S EUN/RUS DIV
4 Yelena Välbe F W EUN/RUS CCS
4 Anja Pärson F W SWE ASK
4 Roald Larsen M W NOR SSK
4 Yelena Välbe F W EUN CCS
4 William Merz M S USA GYM
4 Vitaly Shcherbo M S BLR GYM

Finally, who has won the most bronze medals, and the most individual bronze medals, while winning no other Olympic medals? Following are those two lists:

Bronzes Name Gdr Ssn NOC Sport
6 Harri Kirvesniemi M W FIN CCS
5 Phil Edwards M S CAN ATH
5 Antje Buschschulte F S GER SWI
5 Arie de Jong M S NED FEN
4 Vitaly Shcherbo M S BLR GYM
4 Jetze Doorman M S NED FEN
4 Robert Dover M S USA EQU

Now for the list of the most individual bronze medals, with no team medals, no gold medals, and no silver medals.

IndBronzes Name Gdr Ssn NOC Sport
4 Yelena Välbe F W EUN/RUS CCS
3 Angel Martino F S USA SWI
3 Stan Rowley M S AUS ATH
3 George Breen M S USA SWI
4 Vitaly Shcherbo M S BLR GYM
3 Hugues Duboscq M S FRA SWI
3 Curtis Myden M S CAN SWI
3 Amarilys Savón F S CUB JUD
3 Sheng Zetian M S CHN WRE
3 Hans van Helden M W NED SSK
3 Arnold Vanderlijde M S NED BOX
3 Gabi Zange-Schönbrunn F W GDR SSK
3 Marian Zieliński M S POL WLT

So with these lists, and probably about $4.50, you can get a nice coffee at Starbucks.

Women’s Olympic and World Cup Champions – Updated US List

After the US Women won the World Cup last week, this greatly changes the list of women who have won both an Olympic title and a World Cup title in football. This is almost a purely American list, with 4 Norwegians on the list from the 1995 World Cup and 2000 Olympics (Gro Espeseth, Bente Nordby, Marianne Pettersen, Hege Riise). Below is the list of the American women who have won both titles, and the number of times.

Christie Pearce-Rampone
Christie Pearce-Rampone

The leader with 5 such championships is Christie Pearce-Rampone, with three Olympic gold medals (2004/08/12) and two World Cups (1999/2015). Seven American women have four titles – Heather O’Reilly, Shannon Boxx, Brandi Chastain, Joy Biefeld-Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, and Mia Hamm. One could also add Hope Solo to this list, but this reflects one of the difficulties of compiling such a list. In 2004 Solo was on the Olympic team, but never played as a backup goaltender. Likewise, Tiffany Roberts was on the 2004 Olympic team but never played.

Brandi Chastain
Brandi Chastain

Only Heather Mitts has three such titles without winning both, as an Olympic gold medalist in 2004/08/12. Five Americans have won two Olympic gold medals, without winning the World Cup – Aly Wagner, Angela Hucles, Kate Sobrero-Markgraf, Lindsay Tarpley (2004/08), and Rachel Buehler (2008/12).

Name Total #Oly #WC OlyYear(s) WCYear(s)
Christie Pearce-Rampone 5 3 2 2004/08/12 1999/2015
Heather O'Reilly 4 3 1 2004/08/12 2015
Shannon Boxx 4 3 1 2004/08/12 2015
Brandi Chastain 4 2 2 1996/2004 1991/99
Joy Biefeld-Fawcett 4 2 2 1996/2004 1991/99
Julie Foudy 4 2 2 1996/2004 1991/99
Kristine Lilly 4 2 2 1996/2004 1991/99
Mia Hamm 4 2 2 1996/2004 1991/99
Abby Wambach 3 2 1 2004/2012 2015
Amy Rodriguez 3 2 1 2008/12 2015
Briana Scurry 3 2 1 1996/2004 1999
Carli Lloyd 3 2 1 2008/12 2015
Cindy Parlow 3 2 1 1996/2004 1999
Hope Solo 3 2 1 2008/12 2015
Kate Sobrero-Markgraf 3 2 1 2004/08 1999
Lauren Cheney-Holiday 3 2 1 2008/12 2015
Tobin Heath 3 2 1 2008/12 2015
Carla Werden-Overbeck 3 1 2 1996 1991/99
Michelle Akers 3 1 2 1996 1991/99
Alex Morgan 2 1 1 2012 2015
Becky Sauerbrunn 2 1 1 2012 2015
Carin Jennings-Gabarra 2 1 1 1996 1991
Kelley O'Hara 2 1 1 2012 2015
Lori Chalupny 2 1 1 2008 2015
Megan Rapinoe 2 1 1 2012 2015
Shannon MacMillan 2 1 1 1996 1999
Sydney Leroux 2 1 1 2012 2015
Tiffany Roberts 2 1 1 1996 1999
Tiffeny Milbrett 2 1 1 1996 1999
Tisha Venturini 2 1 1 1996 1999

Small Nations Competing at the Olympics

Nick Zaccardi, NBC Olympics maven, posited that if Fiji gets 50+ athletes qualified for the 2016 Olympics, that it might be the most ever for a nation with less than 1,000,000 population. I tweeted recently that it would be and that no such current nation had had more than 40 competitors at a single Olympics. Unfortunately, I did not go back far enough checking those stats, and it has happened before.

Luxembourg is the only nation with < 106 population (as of 2015) that has had 40 or more competitors at a single Olympics, and they have done it several times, with a high of 52 in 1960. They also had 47 in 1928, 45 in 1948, and 44 three times – 1936, 1948, and 1952.

The first such nation to compete at the Olympics was again Luxembourg, in 1900, although this was not known for over 80 years. Michel Théato, winner of the 1900 marathon, was always considered French until French athletics historian Alain Bouillé discovered in the early 1980s that he was actually a Luxembourgeois national. In 1908 and 1912 Iceland competed, although it was a Danish territory in both those years. From 1920-28 Luxembourg and Monaco competed, along with Malta in 1928. It was not until 1936 that six such small nations competed – Bermuda, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, and Monaco. In 2012, fully 43 such small nations competed at London.

Through 2012, such small nations have competed 398 times at the Summer Olympics – we did not check Winter Olympics for this stat. This has been done in all by 43 nations, although Guyana (British Guiana), Belize (British Honduras), and Samoa (Western Samoa), competed under two different names in various years.

The following list is inclusive of all nations who have competed at the Olympics, with 10 or more competitors, both men and women, at a single Summer Olympics, and currently have a population under a million. I did not try to go back and check populations at the time of their Olympic participation – sorry, but that would be a huge effort. This also eliminates a few small nations that no longer exist as nations, notably Netherlands Antilles and Newfoundland, both of which have competed at the Olympics, but never with very many athletes.

Nation 3LA Year ###
Luxembourg LUX 1960 52
Luxembourg LUX 1928 47
Luxembourg LUX 1948 45
Luxembourg LUX 1924 44
Luxembourg LUX 1936 44
Luxembourg LUX 1952 44
Montenegro MNE 2012 33
Iceland ISL 1988 32
Iceland ISL 1984 30
U.S. Virgin Islands ISV 1984 29
Iceland ISL 1992 27
Iceland ISL 2008 27
Iceland ISL 2012 27
Iceland ISL 2004 26
The Bahamas BAH 1996 26
Iceland ISL 1972 25
Luxembourg LUX 1920 25
The Bahamas BAH 2000 25
The Bahamas BAH 2008 25
U.S. Virgin Islands ISV 1992 25
Fiji FIJ 1988 23
Cyprus CYP 2000 22
Guam GUM 1992 22
The Bahamas BAH 1984 22
The Bahamas BAH 2004 22
U.S. Virgin Islands ISV 1988 22
Luxembourg LUX 1912 21
The Bahamas BAH 2012 21
U.S. Virgin Islands ISV 1976 21
Bermuda BER 1992 20
Cyprus CYP 2004 20
The Bahamas BAH 1972 20
Guam GUM 1988 19
Iceland ISL 1948 19
Montenegro MNE 2008 19
San Marino SMR 1984 19
Barbados BAR 2000 18
Fiji FIJ 1992 18
Iceland ISL 2000 18
Barbados BAR 1988 17
Barbados BAR 1992 17
Cyprus CYP 1992 17
Cyprus CYP 1996 17
Cyprus CYP 2008 17
Fiji FIJ 1996 17
San Marino SMR 1992 17
Barbados BAR 1984 16
Bermuda BER 1976 16
San Marino SMR 1980 16
The Bahamas BAH 1968 16
The Bahamas BAH 1988 16
U.S. Virgin Islands ISV 1972 16
Antigua and Barbuda ANT 1988 15
Antigua and Barbuda ANT 1984 14
Cyprus CYP 1980 14
Fiji FIJ 1984 14
The Bahamas BAH 1992 14
Antigua and Barbuda ANT 1992 13
Antigua and Barbuda ANT 1996 13
Barbados BAR 1972 13
Barbados BAR 1996 13
Cyprus CYP 2012 13
Iceland ISL 1976 13
Luxembourg LUX 2008 13
The Bahamas BAH 1960 13
Bermuda BER 1948 12
Bermuda BER 1984 12
Bermuda BER 1988 12
Iceland ISL 1936 12
Liechtenstein LIE 1988 12
Luxembourg LUX 1964 12
U.S. Virgin Islands ISV 1996 12
Barbados BAR 1976 11
Belize BIZ 1984 11
Luxembourg LUX 1956 11
Luxembourg LUX 1972 11
Malta MLT 1936 11
Monaco MON 1960 11
Samoa SAM 1988 11
San Marino SMR 1988 11
Seychelles SEY 1980 11
Seychelles SEY 1992 11
The Bahamas BAH 1964 11
The Bahamas BAH 1976 11
Antigua and Barbuda ANT 1976 10
Barbados BAR 2004 10
Belize BIZ 1988 10
Belize BIZ 1992 10
Bermuda BER 2004 10
Cayman Islands CAY 1992 10
Cyprus CYP 1984 10
Guyana GUY 1984 10
Luxembourg LUX 2004 10
Malta MLT 1960 10
San Marino SMR 1976 10
St. Kitts & Nevis SKN 1996 10

Jaroslav Drobný

Parameter Value
Used Name Jaroslav Drobný
Born 12 October 1921; Praha (Prague) (CZE)
Died 13 September 2001; Tooting-Greater London (GBR)
Affiliations ČLTK Praha (CZE)

Jaroslav Drobný won an Olympic silver medal with the Czechoslovakian ice hockey squad at the 1948 St. Moritz Olympics, but was more famous as a tennis player. For years, he played ice hockey during the winter and tennis in the summer, but his hockey career was cut short in 1949. During a tennis tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland, he defected from communist Czechoslovakia with a fellow Davis Cup player, Vladimír Černík. Drobný, who had won the 1947 World Championships with Czechoslovakia, could no longer represent his country on the ice.

As an Egyptian citizen, Drobný won Grand Slam singles titles at Roland Garros (1951, 1952) and Wimbledon (1954). His 1954 Wimbledon championship made him the first left-hander to win that title. He was also a five-time runner-up in Grand Slam events; three times at Roland Garros (1946, 1948, 1950), and twice at Wimbledon (1949, 1952). His ice hockey legacy could still be found in his dark prescription glasses, which he needed following a hockey accident that severely affected his eyesight.

Drobný uniquely competed at Wimbledon for four different “nations.” He first played there in 1938, representing Czechoslovakia, and again under that designation in 1946-49. In 1939, following political upheaval in Europe, he was listed from the Nazi-occupied protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia. Following his 1949 defection, Drobný was given an Egyptian passport, and won his Grand Slam titles representing that nation from 1950-59. In 1959, he traded his Egyptian passport for a British one, and lived in London for the rest of his life. During a 15-year amateur career, he won over 130 singles titles, and was world ranked in the top 10 from 1946-55. Drobný was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1997 he was made a member of the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.

Farhang Mohtadi

Parameter Value
Full Name Matthew Farhang Mohtadi
Used Name Farhang Mohtadi
Original Name فرهنگ •مهتدی
Born 6 January 1926

Farhang Mohtadi played basketball for Iran at the 1948 Olympics, appearing in one game, a loss against France. He had earned a B.E. degree from Teheran University in 1945 but in 1948 was studying at Birmingham University in England. Mohtadi was better known as a tennis player and during his years in England played at Wimbledon seven consecutive years (1949-55), although he lost in the first round each year. In 1954 he lost in the final of the North England Hardcourts Championships to Polish player Ignacy Tłoczyński. Mohtadi also excelled at table tennis, making the final of the 1944 Middle East Championships, and squash, competing in the British Open Championships.

He eventually earned a B.Sc. degree and later a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Birmingham. Mohtadi finally settled in Canada where he taught at the University of Calgary, serving as chairman of the department of chemical and petroleum engineering and director of public relations in the engineering department.

His son, Nick Mohtadi, played briefly on the professional tennis tour, including a bronze medal win at the 1979 World University Games in mixed doubles and one doubles appearance at Wimbledon. Nick Mohtadi later became a renowned orthopaedic surgeon at the University of Calgary, with special expertise in sports medicine and clinical epidemiology.

Ion Ţiriac

Parameter Value
Full Name Ion Ioan Ţiriac
Born 9 May 1939 in Braşov; ROU
Measurements 183 cm / 84 kg
Affiliations Sportul Studenţesc; Bucureşti

Ion Ţiriac played ice hockey for Romania at the 1964 Winter Olympics, but it was only a prelude to a much larger life. His main sport was tennis and he became one of the top players in the world, winning the 1970 French Open men’s doubles alongside Ilie Năstase. Ţiriac’s best finish in a singles Grand Slam was making the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 1968. He was best known for his doubles play, winning 22 career professional titles.

After his playing career ended in the mid-1970s, Ţiriac turned to managing athletes, most notably as the coach and manager of Boris Becker from 1984-1993. He also coached or managed, among others, Năstase, Guillermo Vilas, Mary Joe Fernández, Goran Ivanišević, and Marat Safin. Ţiriac also started running and managing tennis events, including the Madrid Tennis Open, the Italian Open, and in Romania, the BRD Năstase Țiriac Trophy. In 2013 Ţiriac was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Țiriac’s business interests then branched out and in 1990, after the fall of Communism in Romania, he founded Banca Țiriac, the first private bank in that country. The bank merged several times, eventually becoming UniCredit Ţiriac Bank, one of the largest banks in Romania. He also became involved in other businesses, including insurance, auto leasing, auto dealerships, and local airlines, with his various ventures entitled Tiriac Holdings, TiriacAIR, HVB Tiriac Bank, Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari Romania, TiriacAuto, Tiriac Leasing, and Tir Travel.

In 2007 Ţiriac was named to Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the world, and in 2014 his net worth was estimated at over $2 billion (US). He was considered, at that time, as the richest former athlete of all-time.

Games Sport Team Position
1964 Ice Hockey Romania 12

Olympic Birthday Medalists

Many people celebrate their birthday. What better way to celebrate it than to win an Olympic medal on one’s birthday? And this has happened at the Olympics, in fact, 86 athletes have done it 90 times.

Only one athlete has won 3 Olympic medals on his/her birthday and that was French archer Eugène Richez, who won 2 silvers and a bronze in team target archery events at the 1900 Olympics. Those Olympics were so unusual, and the archery events were especially so, so let’s look at the 2 athletes who have won 2 medals on his/her birthday.

The first was Sidney Merlin, a British shooter who won a gold and bronze medal in 2 trap shooting events at the 1906 Olympics and, again, the 1906 Olympics are somewhat controversial.

So that leaves only German equestrian Michael Jung who won 2 gold medals on 31 July 2012 in eventing, the day he turned 30-years-old. Jung is the only Olympian to have won 2 gold medals on his/her birthday – a fact that seemed to escape most of the world’s media in London, including our OlympStats group, to be fair.

How many athletes have won gold medals on their birthday, the ultimate celebration? That has been done 32 times, by 31 Olympians, with Jung winning 2 in 2012. That has been done 6 times at the Winter Olympics, and 26 times at the Summer Games. Seven women have won an Olympic gold medal on their birthday, two at the Winter Olympics – Madeleine Chamot-Berthod (SUI) in downhill skiing at the 1956 Cortina Olympics, and Cathrine Lindahl (SWE) in 2010 curling.

So Lindahl won her gold medal in a team event. How often have Olympians won medals or gold medals in individual events, probably the uber-ultimate birthday present? That has been done 29 times, by 28 athletes, with Merlin winning two in 1906 on his 26 April birthday.

Winning an individual gold medal on your birthday is fairly rare, done only 13 times by 13 Olympians. The only woman to have done it is Chamot-Berthod at the 1956 Winter Olympics – no woman has done it at the Summer Olympics. Only 4 Winter Olympians have pulled this off while it has been done 9 times at the Summer Olympics.

The youngest birthday medalist was Mariya Filatova, actually a gold medalist in the 1976 gymnastics team all-around, on her 15th birthday. The oldest was Richez, who was 56-years-old when he won his 3 medals in 1900 archery on 5 August. Again, discounting him, the next oldest was Merlin in 1906, who was 50-years-old, so we’ll look further, and find that William Dod was 41-years-old in 1908 when he won a gold medal on his birthday (18 July) in Double York Round archery. The oldest female to pull this off was Lindahl in curling, who was 40-years-old on 26 February 2010. The youngest man was Jamaican Greg Meghoo, a silver medalist in the 4×100 relay, when he turned 19 on 11 August 1984.

Not easy to do and if you want to do this, in addition to being a great athlete, you better hope to have been born in February, July, or August anymore.

Here is the complete list of the 90 birthday medals:

 

  • Sidney Merlin (M / GBR / Summer) (1906 Shooting; Trap, Double Shot, 14 metres) (Gold / Individual) (*26 April 1856; 50-years-old)
  • William Dod (M / GBR / Summer) (1908 Archery; Double York Round) (Gold / Individual) (*18 July 1867; 41-years-old)
  • Henri Anspach (M / BEL / Summer) (1912 Fencing; Épée, Team) (Gold / Team) (*10 July 1882; 30-years-old)
  • Erik Herseth (M / NOR / Summer) (1920 Sailing; 10 metres, 1907 Rating) (Gold / Team) (*9 July 1892; 28-years-old)
  • Charles Bugbee (M / GBR / Summer) (1920 Water Polo) (Gold / Team) (*29 August 1887; 33-years-old)
  • István Barta (M / HUN / Summer) (1932 Water Polo) (Gold / Team) (*13 August 1895; 37-years-old)
  • Dieter Arend (M / GER / Summer) (1936 Rowing; Coxed Pairs) (Gold / Team) (*14 August 1914; 22-years-old)
  • Miklós Sárkány (M / HUN / Summer) (1936 Water Polo) (Gold / Team) (*15 August 1908; 28-years-old)
  • Sammy Lee (M / USA / Summer) (1952 Diving; Platform) (Gold / Individual) (*1 August 1920; 32-years-old)
  • Madeleine Chamot-Berthod (F / SUI / Winter) (1956 Alpine Skiing; Downhill) (Gold / Individual) (*1 February 1931; 25-years-old)
  • Viktor Kosichkin (M / URS / Winter) (1960 Speedskating; 5,000 metres) (Gold / Individual) (*25 February 1938; 22-years-old)
  • Vladimir Shmelyov (M / URS / Summer) (1972 Modern Pentathlon; Team) (Gold / Team) (*31 August 1946; 26-years-old)
  • Jan Egil Storholt (M / NOR / Winter) (1976 Speedskating; 1,500 metres) (Gold / Individual) (*13 February 1949; 27-years-old)
  • Mariya Filatova (F / URS / Summer) (1976 Gymnastics; Team All-Around) (Gold / Team) (*19 July 1961; 15-years-old)
  • Yelena Novikova-Belova (F / URS / Summer) (1976 Fencing; Foil, Team) (Gold / Team) (*28 July 1947; 29-years-old)
  • Vakht’ang Blagidze (M / URS / Summer) (1980 Wrestling; Flyweight, Greco-Roman (≤52 kg)) (Gold / Individual) (*23 July 1954; 26-years-old)
  • Pascal Jolyot (M / FRA / Summer) (1980 Fencing; Foil, Team) (Gold / Team) (*26 July 1958; 22-years-old)
  • Angel Herrera (M / CUB / Summer) (1980 Boxing; Lightweight (≤60 kg)) (Gold / Individual) (*2 August 1957; 23-years-old)
  • Chris Jacobs (M / USA / Summer) (1988 Swimming; 4 x 100 metres Medley Relay) (Gold / Team) (*25 September 1964; 24-years-old)
  • Nazim Hüseynov (M / EUN / Summer) (1992 Judo; Extra-Lightweight (≤60 kg)) (Gold / Individual) (*2 August 1969; 23-years-old)
  • Ana Ivis Fernández (F / CUB / Summer) (1996 Volleyball) (Gold / Team) (*3 August 1973; 23-years-old)
  • Jon Rauch (M / USA / Summer) (2000 Baseball) (Gold / Team) (*27 September 1978; 22-years-old)
  • Guillermo Rigondeaux (M / CUB / Summer) (2000 Boxing; Bantamweight (≤54 kg)) (Gold / Individual) (*30 September 1980; 20-years-old)
  • Ruth Riley (F / USA / Summer) (2004 Basketball) (Gold / Team) (*28 August 1979; 25-years-old)
  • Per-Johan Axelsson (M / SWE / Winter) (2006 Ice Hockey) (Gold / Team) (*26 February 1975; 31-years-old)
  • Mari (F / BRA / Summer) (2008 Volleyball) (Gold / Team) (*23 August 1983; 25-years-old)
  • Michael Redd (M / USA / Summer) (2008 Basketball) (Gold / Team) (*24 August 1979; 29-years-old)
  • Mo Tae-Beom (M / KOR / Winter) (2010 Speedskating; 500 metres) (Gold / Individual) (*15 February 1989; 21-years-old)
  • Cathrine Lindahl (F / SWE / Winter) (2010 Curling) (Gold / Team) (*26 February 1970; 40-years-old)
  • Michael Jung (M / GER / Summer) (2012 Equestrian Events; 3-Day Event, Individual) (Gold / Individual) (*31 July 1982; 30-years-old)
  • Michael Jung (M / GER / Summer) (2012 Equestrian Events; 3-Day Event, Team) (Gold / Team) (*31 July 1982; 30-years-old)
  • Daniele Molmenti (M / ITA / Summer) (2012 Canoeing; Kayak Singles, Slalom) (Gold / Individual) (*1 August 1984; 28-years-old)

 

  • John Svanberg (M / SWE / Summer) (1906 Athletics; Marathon) (Silver / Individual) (*1 May 1881; 25-years-old)
  • Nils Thomas (M / NOR / Summer) (1920 Sailing; 8 metres, 1919 Rating) (Silver / Team) (*9 July 1889; 31-years-old)
  • Eugène Richez (M / FRA / Summer) (1920 Archery; Target Archery, 33 metres, Team) (Silver / Team) (*5 August 1864; 56-years-old)
  • Eugène Richez (M / FRA / Summer) (1920 Archery; Target Archery, 50 metres, Team) (Silver / Team) (*5 August 1864; 56-years-old)
  • John Garrison (M / USA / Winter) (1932 Ice Hockey) (Silver / Team) (*13 February 1909; 23-years-old)
  • Dante Secchi (M / ITA / Summer) (1936 Rowing; Coxed Eights) (Silver / Team) (*14 August 1910; 26-years-old)
  • Eugenio Monti (M / ITA / Winter) (1956 Bobsledding; Two) (Silver / Team) (*28 January 1928; 28-years-old)
  • Teresa Ciepły-Wieczorek (F / POL / Summer) (1964 Athletics; 80 metres Hurdles) (Silver / Individual) (*19 October 1937; 27-years-old)
  • Manfred Schumann (M / FRG / Winter) (1976 Bobsledding; Two) (Silver / Team) (*7 February 1951; 25-years-old)
  • Daniel Morelon (M / FRA / Summer) (1976 Cycling; Sprint) (Silver / Individual) (*24 July 1944; 32-years-old)
  • Dave Ottley (M / GBR / Summer) (1984 Athletics; Javelin Throw) (Silver / Individual) (*5 August 1955; 29-years-old)
  • Jeong Sun-Bok (F / KOR / Summer) (1984 Handball) (Silver / Team) (*9 August 1960; 24-years-old)
  • Greg Meghoo (M / JAM / Summer) (1984 Athletics; 4 x 100 metres Relay) (Silver / Team) (*11 August 1965; 19-years-old)
  • Mark Phillips (M / GBR / Summer) (1988 Equestrian Events; 3-Day Event, Team) (Silver / Team) (*22 September 1948; 40-years-old)
  • Andreas Keller (M / FRG / Summer) (1988 Hockey) (Silver / Team) (*1 October 1965; 23-years-old)
  • Nataliya Shikolenko (F / EUN / Summer) (1992 Athletics; Javelin Throw) (Silver / Individual) (*1 August 1964; 28-years-old)
  • Sergey Tarasov (M / RUS / Winter) (1994 Biathlon; 4 x 7.5 kilometres Relay) (Silver / Team) (*15 February 1965; 29-years-old)
  • Tommy Moe (M / USA / Winter) (1994 Alpine Skiing; Super G) (Silver / Individual) (*17 February 1970; 24-years-old)
  • Peter Leone (M / USA / Summer) (1996 Equestrian Events; Jumping, Team) (Silver / Team) (*1 August 1960; 36-years-old)
  • Paolo Tofoli (M / ITA / Summer) (1996 Volleyball) (Silver / Team) (*4 August 1966; 30-years-old)
  • George Karrys (M / CAN / Winter) (1998 Curling) (Silver / Team) (*15 February 1967; 31-years-old)
  • Yelena Zamolodchikova (F / RUS / Summer) (2000 Gymnastics; Team All-Around) (Silver / Team) (*19 September 1982; 18-years-old)
  • Gillian Lindsay (F / GBR / Summer) (2000 Rowing; Quadruple Sculls) (Silver / Team) (*24 September 1973; 27-years-old)
  • Miguel Caldés (M / CUB / Summer) (2000 Baseball) (Silver / Team) (*27 September 1970; 30-years-old)
  • Kateřina Neumannová (F / CZE / Winter) (2002 Cross-Country Skiing; 5/5 kilometres Pursuit) (Silver / Individual) (*15 February 1973; 29-years-old)
  • Irina Lobacheva (F / RUS / Winter) (2002 Figure Skating; Ice Dancing) (Silver / Team) (*18 February 1973; 29-years-old)
  • Brendan Hansen (M / USA / Summer) (2004 Swimming; 100 metres Breaststroke) (Silver / Individual) (*15 August 1981; 23-years-old)
  • Jens Arne Svartedal (M / NOR / Winter) (2006 Cross-Country Skiing; Team Sprint) (Silver / Team) (*14 February 1976; 30-years-old)
  • Park Gyeong-Mo (M / KOR / Summer) (2008 Archery; Individual) (Silver / Individual) (*15 August 1975; 33-years-old)
  • Rohanee Cox (F / AUS / Summer) (2008 Basketball) (Silver / Team) (*23 August 1980; 28-years-old)
  • Marianne St-Gelais (F / CAN / Winter) (2010 Short-Track Speedskating; 500 metres) (Silver / Individual) (*17 February 1990; 20-years-old)
  • Paola Espinosa (F / MEX / Summer) (2012 Diving; Synchronized Platform) (Silver / Team) (*31 July 1986; 26-years-old)
  • Lucha Aymar (F / ARG / Summer) (2012 Hockey) (Silver / Team) (*10 August 1977; 35-years-old)

 

  • Sidney Merlin (M / GBR / Summer) (1906 Shooting; Trap, Single Shot, 16 metres) (Bronze / Individual) (*26 April 1856; 50-years-old)
  • Charles Vigurs (M / GBR / Summer) (1912 Gymnastics; Team All-Around, European System) (Bronze / Team) (*11 July 1888; 24-years-old)
  • Eugène Richez (M / FRA / Summer) (1920 Archery; Target Archery, 28 metres, Team) (Bronze / Team) (*5 August 1864; 56-years-old)
  • Freddie McEvoy (M / GBR / Winter) (1936 Bobsledding; Four) (Bronze / Team) (*12 February 1907; 29-years-old)
  • Göpf Kottmann (M / SUI / Summer) (1964 Rowing; Single Sculls) (Bronze / Individual) (*15 October 1932; 32-years-old)
  • Viktor Borshch (M / URS / Summer) (1972 Volleyball) (Bronze / Team) (*9 September 1948; 24-years-old)
  • Silvia Chivás (F / CUB / Summer) (1972 Athletics; 4 x 100 metres Relay) (Bronze / Team) (*10 September 1954; 18-years-old)
  • Henry Glaß (M / GDR / Winter) (1976 Ski Jumping; Large Hill, Individual) (Bronze / Individual) (*15 February 1953; 23-years-old)
  • Valery Dolinin (M / URS / Summer) (1976 Rowing; Coxless Fours) (Bronze / Team) (*25 July 1953; 23-years-old)
  • Pertti Teurajärvi (M / FIN / Winter) (1980 Cross-Country Skiing; 4 x 10 kilometres Relay) (Bronze / Team) (*20 February 1951; 29-years-old)
  • László Kuncz (M / HUN / Summer) (1980 Water Polo) (Bronze / Team) (*29 July 1957; 23-years-old)
  • Tsutomu Sakamoto (M / JPN / Summer) (1984 Cycling; Sprint) (Bronze / Individual) (*3 August 1962; 22-years-old)
  • Mark Kerry (M / AUS / Summer) (1984 Swimming; 4 x 100 metres Medley Relay) (Bronze / Team) (*4 August 1959; 25-years-old)
  • Tomislav Ivković (M / YUG / Summer) (1984 Football) (Bronze / Team) (*11 August 1960; 24-years-old)
  • Seth Bauer (M / USA / Summer) (1988 Rowing; Coxed Eights) (Bronze / Team) (*25 September 1959; 29-years-old)
  • Yevgeny Grishin (M / URS / Summer) (1988 Water Polo) (Bronze / Team) (*1 October 1959; 29-years-old)
  • Chris Johnson (M / CAN / Summer) (1992 Boxing; Middleweight (≤75 kg)) (Bronze / Individual) (*8 August 1971; 21-years-old)
  • Park Hae-Jeong (F / KOR / Summer) (1996 Table Tennis; Doubles) (Bronze / Team) (*29 July 1972; 24-years-old)
  • Matteo Bisiani (M / ITA / Summer) (1996 Archery; Team) (Bronze / Team) (*2 August 1976; 20-years-old)
  • \N Leila (F / BRA / Summer) (2000 Volleyball) (Bronze / Team) (*30 September 1971; 29-years-old)
  • Aleksey Kovalyov (M / RUS / Winter) (2002 Ice Hockey) (Bronze / Team) (*24 February 1973; 29-years-old)
  • Helen Tanger (F / NED / Summer) (2004 Rowing; Coxed Eights) (Bronze / Team) (*22 August 1978; 26-years-old)
  • Norman Bröckl (M / GER / Summer) (2008 Canoeing; Kayak Fours, 1,000 metres) (Bronze / Team) (*22 August 1986; 22-years-old)
  • Luke Doerner (M / AUS / Summer) (2008 Hockey) (Bronze / Team) (*23 August 1979; 29-years-old)
  • Felipe Kitadai (M / BRA / Summer) (2012 Judo; Extra-Lightweight (≤60 kg)) (Bronze / Individual) (*28 July 1989; 23-years-old)

With thanx to David Clark, an Australian frequent reader of OlympStats, for suggesting this post.

Ron Clarke (1937-2015)

As the Australian junior mile champion Ron Clarke was selected to carry the Olympic Torch and light the flame at the 1956 Melbourne Opening Ceremony. He later became one of the great distance runners of all-time, especially measured against the clock, but one who struggled to win on the biggest stages. Between 1963-68 Clarke set 17 world records, over distances ranging from 2 miles to the one-hour race. In 1965, he was at his best, setting 11 world records that year alone. His most famous record occurred on 14 July 1965 at Bislett Stadium in Oslo, when Clarke recorded 27:39.4 (27:39.89) for 10,000 metres, breaking his own listed record of 28:15.6, shattering the previous best by over 36 seconds.

ron clarke 1970
Clarke leading the 1970 Commonwealth Games 10000m

At the Commonwealth Games Clarke won four silver medals, in the 1962 3-miles, the 1966 3- and 6-mile races, and the 1970 10,000 metres. Favored for golds at the 1964 Olympics in the distances, he came away only with a bronze in the 1964 10,000 metres. At Mexico City in 1968, Clarke ran himself to exhaustion in the thin air of the Mexican capital, and lay prostrate on the track at the end of the 10,000, after finishing sixth. After the 1968 Olympics, Clarke visited Czechoslovakia to meet his predecessor as the world’s greatest distance runner, Emil Zátopek. When he left for Australia, Zatopek gave him a present to be opened only on the plane, and it was one of his gold medals, with a note saying, “Because you deserve it.”

Ron Clarke on 50th anniversary of Melbourne Olympics

Clarke later became mayor of Gold Coast, Queensland in 2004, serving until 2012, when he resigned to run in the Queensland state elections, but he was badly beaten in that election. Clarke was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1966. In 2013 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) on the Queens Birthday Honours List. Clarke was elected to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.

Personal Bests\: 5000 – 13:16.6 (1966); 10000 – 27:39.89 (1965); Mar – 2-20:26 (1964).

All the Olympic Stats You'll Ever Need