So tomorrow nite Santa Claus will be delivering presents throughout the world to all the good little girls and boys. Santa has never competed at the Olympics, one major reason being that he lives at the North Pole, which is not affiliated with any known National Olympic Committee. It is unknown if he has ever attempted to become affiliated with Greenland, which claims the North Pole, and whose athletes have competed for Denmark. Further, another reason Santa has not competed at the Olympics is that he is, to be politically correct here, somewhat adipose-challenged.
However, in searching our database, we did find the following Olympians who may be related to Santa Claus, although we have not yet finished the search for these relations. Attempts to reach Santa and discuss this were unsuccessful, as his administrative assistant told us, “He’ll get back to you after the New Year. This is really his busy time of year.”
Christian Claus sailed for Austria at the 1988 Olympics, finishing fourth in the Tornado, alongside Norbert Petschel. That same year Yves Clausse, a Luxembourgeois swimmer, also competed at the Olympics, as he did again in 1992. Clausse swam the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle, with a best finish of 28th in the 1988 50 metre freestyle. It is not known if he changed his name from Claus, possibly because of a falling out with Santa over not receiving the presents he wanted.
Hildrun Claus was a long jumper for East Germany who competed at the 1964 Olympics, although under her married name of Laufer-Claus, having married Peter Laufer. If related to Santa, it is unknown if he approved of this marriage.
Another East German athlete was Kerstin Claus, a high hurdler at the 1980 Olympics, but she competed again in 1988 as Kerstin Knabe.
But of all Santa Claus’s potential Olympic relatives, surely one must be the 2012 Dutch decathlete Eelco Sintnicolaas.
Let’s not also forget that in 1992 a Swedish horse named Lille Claus competed in equestrian. Perhaps she had some reindeer ancestors.
Two Santas have competed at the Olympics – Santa Margarita Skeet played basketball for Cuba at the 1980 Olympics, the team placing sixth, and Santa Inés Melchor competed in athletics for Peru in both 2004 at Athina and 2012 in London, running the 5,000 metres in 2004, and finishing 25th in the marathon in 2012.
And again, from the reindeer line, Santa Bell was a Dutch horse at the 1936 Olympics, and the horse Santa Fe competed in equestrian for Argentina in both 1948 and 1952.
So what about those reindeer – any of them compete in the Olympics that we know of? Well, we’re not too sure of that, with no reindeer events, but it appears that Santa named his reindeer after a group of Olympians. It is also possible that the trainer of his reindeer is the 2012 Dutch beach volleyball player Reinder Nummerdor.
Six time Olympic fencing champion Rudolf Kárpáti was a soldier in the Hungarian Army during Hungary’s communist era so perhaps he is the “Rudolf the Red” to lead the team.
Australian hockey player Barry Dancer and Helmuth Donner, the Austrian high jumper are easy picks and maybe you could just get away with choosing Uruguayan basketball star Carlos Blixen to the reindeer roster – but then you have to get a little more creative.
Usain Bolt seems a good choice for Dasher,, or you may prefer the Swiss ski jumping brothers Hans and Andreas Däscher. Valegro, the horse that in partnership with Charlotte Dujardin won dressage gold in 2012, might make a good Prancer and it’s fortunate that the nickname of cross-country skier Gunnar Samuelsson (1960) happened to be Comet.
Since a Vixen is a female fox then Jess Fox, the canoe slalom medallist from 2012, can be recruited with little difficulty which just leaves us with one position to fill.
Cupid was difficult, very difficult, but if you know your mythology you know that Cupid was the Roman counterpart to the Greek God Eros. This gives us a tenuous excuse to pick Italian cyclist Eros Poli to complete our team.
So there you have it – we’ll keep searching and if we confirm relationships to Santa Claus, or his reindeer, we’ll let you know. (With thanx to Hilary Evans, Jeroen Heijmans, Ralf Regnitter, and all the OlyMADMen)
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, and Happy Holidays to all – and to all a good night.