Gold Medalist Deaths While the Title Holder

A bit more on the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of French swimming gold medalist Camille Muffat, French boxing medalist Alexis Vastine, and renowned French sailor, although not an Olympian, Florence Arthaud.

Muffat was the gold medalist in the women’s 400 metre freestyle at the London Olympics, and thus died while holding the crown. She becomes the 83rd Olympian to have died as the holding gold medalist. She is the 29th Olympian to have been an individual gold medalist, but dying before the event was next contested. (Earlier post incorrect as when checking the database I looked for Olympians dying within 4 years, and neglected some of the 1912 and 1936 Olympians who waited 8 and 12 years for the next Olympics. Thanks to Harri Piironen for pointing this out.)

The full list of the 83 Olympians who died while the holder of a gold medal is as follows:

Name Gdr Ssn NOC Spt Year YOD
Joseph Olivier M S FRA RUG 1900 1901
Alfred Tysoe M S GBR ATH 1900 1901
Galen C. Spencer M S USA ARC 1904 1904
David Bratton M S USA WAP 1904 1904
Étienne Desmarteau M S CAN ATH 1904 1905
George Van Cleaf M S USA WAP 1904 1905
George Sheldon M S USA DIV 1904 1907
David Hesser M S USA WAP 1904 1908
John B. Taylor M S USA ATH 1908 1908
Carl Holmberg M S SWE GYM 1908 1909
Reggie Doherty M S GBR TEN 1908 1910
Bernard Redwood M S GBR MTB 1908 1911
Carl Folcker M S SWE GYM 1908 1911
Kostas Tsiklitiras M S GRE ATH 1912 1913
Ralph Rose M S USA ATH 1912 1913
Ronald Brebner M S GBR FTB 1912 1914
Guido Romano M S ITA GYM 1912 1916
Gaston Salmon M S BEL FEN 1912 1917
Alister Kirby M S GBR ROW 1912 1917
Isaac Bentham M S GBR WAP 1912 1917
Victor Willems M S BEL FEN 1912 1918
Joseph Dines M S GBR FTB 1912 1918
Cecil Healy M S ANZ SWI 1912 1918
Henry Macintosh M S GBR ATH 1912 1918
Harry Sears M S USA SHO 1912 1920
Mike Kelly M S USA SHO 1920 1923
Frans De Haes M S BEL WLT 1920 1923
Émile Albrecht M S SUI ROW 1924 1927
Sybil Bauer F S USA SWI 1924 1927
Ödön von Tersztyánszky M S HUN FEN 1928 1929
René Borjas M S URU FTB 1928 1931
George Saling M S USA ATH 1932 1933
Andrew Libano M S USA SAI 1932 1935
Paul Wevers M S GER CAN 1936 1941
Ludwig Stubbendorf M S GER EQU 1936 1941
Herbert Adamski M S GER ROW 1936 1941
Hugo Strauß M S GER ROW 1936 1941
Kalle Jalkanen M W FIN CCS 1936 1941
Heinz Körvers M S GER HAN 1936 1942
Martin Karl M S GER ROW 1936 1942
Ernst Winter M S GER GYM 1936 1943
Arthur Knautz M S GER HAN 1936 1943
Hans Maier M S GER ROW 1936 1943
Hans Woellke M S GER ATH 1936 1943
Foy Draper M S USA ATH 1936 1943
Heinz Brandt M S GER EQU 1936 1944
Kurt Hasse M S GER EQU 1936 1944
Toni Merkens M S GER CYC 1936 1944
Endre Kabos M S HUN FEN 1936 1944
Georg Dascher M S GER HAN 1936 1944
Hannes Hansen M S GER HAN 1936 1944
Shigeo Arai M S JPN SWI 1936 1944
Lauri Koskela M S FIN WRE 1936 1944
Kustaa Pihlajamäki M S FIN WRE 1936 1944
Rudolf Lippert M S GER EQU 1936 1945
Willi Menne M S GER ROW 1936 1945
Ferenc Csík M S HUN SWI 1936 1945
Olivér Halassy M S HUN WAP 1936 1946
Corny Johnson M S USA ATH 1936 1946
Charles Leaf M S GBR SAI 1936 1947
Sayed Jaffar M S IND HOK 1936 1937
Gunnar Höckert M S FIN ATH 1936 1940
Nils Östensson M W SWE CCS 1948 1949
George Ahlgren M S USA ROW 1948 1951
Ed Sanders M S USA BOX 1952 1954
Skippy Browning M S USA DIV 1952 1956
Viktor Blinov M W URS ICH 1968 1968
István Kozma M S HUN WRE 1968 1970
Yuliya Riabchynska F S URS CAN 1972 1973
Yuriy Lahutin M S URS HAN 1976 1978
Bronisław Malinowski M S POL ATH 1980 1981
Volodymyr Smyrnov M S URS FEN 1980 1982
Sergey Rogozhin M S URS EQU 1980 1983
Valeriy Hoborov M S URS BAS 1988 1989
Paolo Caldarella M S ITA WAP 1992 1993
Roberto Balado M S CUB BOX 1992 1994
Fabio Casartelli M S ITA CYC 1992 1995
Sergey Grinkov M W RUS FSK 1994 1995
Sandra Schmirler F W CAN CUR 1998 2000
Bekzat Sattarkhanov M S KAZ BOX 2000 2000
Sammy Wanjiru M S KEN ATH 2008 2011
Camille Muffat F S FRA SWI 2012 2015

Here is the list of the 29 individual gold medalists who died as holders:

Name Gdr Ssn NOC Spt Year YOD
Étienne Desmarteau M S CAN ATH 1904 1905
George Sheldon M S USA DIV 1904 1907
Kostas Tsiklitiras M S GRE ATH 1912 1913
Ralph Rose M S USA ATH 1912 1913
Frans De Haes M S BEL WLT 1920 1923
Sybil Bauer F S USA SWI 1924 1927
Ödön von Tersztyánszky M S HUN FEN 1928 1929
George Saling M S USA ATH 1932 1933
Gunnar Höckert M S FIN ATH 1936 1940
Ludwig Stubbendorf M S GER EQU 1936 1941
Hans Woellke M S GER ATH 1936 1943
Kurt Hasse M S GER EQU 1936 1944
Toni Merkens M S GER CYC 1936 1944
Endre Kabos M S HUN FEN 1936 1944
Lauri Koskela M S FIN WRE 1936 1944
Kustaa Pihlajamäki M S FIN WRE 1936 1944
Ferenc Csík M S HUN SWI 1936 1945
Corny Johnson M S USA ATH 1936 1946
Ed Sanders M S USA BOX 1952 1954
Skippy Browning M S USA DIV 1952 1956
István Kozma M S HUN WRE 1968 1970
Yuliya Riabchynska F S URS CAN 1972 1973
Bronisław Malinowski M S POL ATH 1980 1981
Volodymyr Smyrnov M S URS FEN 1980 1982
Roberto Balado M S CUB BOX 1992 1994
Fabio Casartelli M S ITA CYC 1992 1995
Bekzat Sattarkhanov M S KAZ BOX 2000 2000
Sammy Wanjiru M S KEN ATH 2008 2011
Camille Muffat F S FRA SWI 2012 2015

Full details of the Olympians, the events in which they competed, and their deaths can be found at www.sports-reference.com/olympics.

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