Olympic Bio of the Day – Jose Barthel

Born 24 April 1927 in Mamer (LUX)
Died 7 July 1992 in Luxembourg (LUX)

Year-Sport Event Place
1948 Athletics 800m 6h1 r2/3
1500m 10
1952 1500m Gold
1956 1500m 10 h1 r1/2


Josy Barthel’s abilities as a middle-distance runner were discovered during World War II. He first came to fameby winning the 800 metres at the 1947 Military World Championships. In 1948 he won both 800 and 1,500 metre events at the Military World Championships. At the 1948 London Olympics Barthel finished ninth in the 1,500 metre final. He then won Student World Championships in 1949 (1,500 m) and 1951 (800 m and 1,500 m). The absolute high point of Barthel’s career was the 1952 Summer Olympics, where he surprised the crowd and himself by winning the 1,500 with a strong finish. He participated at the 1956 Olympics, after which he retired. He was Luxembourg champion in the 800 and 1,500 from 1946-56. From 1962-72 Barthel was president of the Luxembourg Athletics Federation and then from 1973-77 was the president of the Luxembourgish Olympic and Sporting Committee. He was also in the Luxembourg government, serving as Minister for Transport, Minister for Energy and Minister for the Environment from 1977-84.

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