Evelyn Furtsch, gold medalist in the 4×100 metre relay with the United States team at the 1932 Olympics, died in her sleep in Santa Ana, California on 5 March 2015. She was 100-years-old, only a few weeks short of her 101st birthday (17 April). In our post (by Paul Tchir) a few days ago on oldest living Olympians, Furtsch was described as the oldest living gold medalist in track & field athletics, while in fact she had passed away a few weeks before we wrote that. The news has only just reached us.
There are still six remaining Olympic centenarians (see http://olympstats.com/2015/03/23/oldest-living-olympians-part-2/). The oldest living track & field Olympian remains Simone Schaller (USA-1932/1936), born 22 August 1912, and now over 102-years-old.
The oldest living female track & field Olympic gold medalist now becomes Dana Zátopková, Czech javelin thrower who won the 1952 Olympic title, who will turn 93-years-old on 19 September of this year, and is three days older than Esther Brand, who won the high jupm that year in Helsinki. The oldest living track & field gold medalist, however, is Cliff Bourland, who won gold in the 4×400 relay at the 1948 Olympics. Bourland was born 1 January 1921, and is now over 94-years-old. We believe the oldest living female gold medalist in any sport is Finnish cross-country skiier Lydia Wideman, who won gold in the 10 km race at the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics, and was born on 17 May 1920.
Rest in peace to Evelyn Furtsch, a pioneer in women’s sports in the United States, and our sympathies to her family.