OK, we know, you read the title of the post and thought we had lost our minds. And “competing” in the Olympics is probably a bit of a misnomer. But the title is correct and there have been Olympians who were deceased at the time of their Olympic participation or when they were honored at the Olympics.
Not well known is that from 1912-48 there were Arts Competitions held at the Olympic Games. Artists, musicians, and writers entered their works into competitions and received medals for their work. In a number of cases the artists entered their works, but died before the Olympics and the Arts Competitions started. So effectively they competed posthumously.
Also in 1924 and 1936 the IOC awarded Alpinism Medals for the best feats of Alpinism since the previous Olympics. This is also not well-known but it is interesting that this concept was set forth by Pierre, Baron de Coubertin in his original list of events for the Olympics at the Sorbonne Congress in 1894. In several cases, some of the climbers were killed during their Olympian climbing feats, notably several members of George Mallory’s Everest expeditions in the early 1920s (see our previous post on Olympstats about Olympians Atop Everest).
So, yes, there have been posthumous Olympians. Here is the complete list:
|Luc Albert Moreau||FRA||ART||1948|