Félix Sienra and Rhoda Wurtele

Today on Oldest Olympians we have two very exciting birthdays to celebrate and, since we could not choose which one to feature, we decided to feature them both in one quick blog post!

(Sienra, pictured after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination at Telenoche)

The first birthday is that of Uruguayan sailor Félix Sienra, the oldest living Olympian, who turns 106 today! Sienra represented his country in the Firefly class at the 1948 London Olympics, where he placed sixth. A lawyer by profession, he was much better known in Uruguay as a sports administrator, particularly with Yacht Club Uruguayo, where he served as Commodore from 1973 through 1975 and again from 2003 through 2005. He was also the Vice President of the Uruguayan Olympic Committee and worked with Panathlon Club Montevideo. He is the longest-lived Uruguayan Olympian and one of only three Olympians to have reached the age of 106!

(Rhoda Wurtele, pictured in a clip from My Canadian Moment)

The second is that of Canadian alpine skier Rhoda Wurtele, who turns 100 today! Both her and her twin sister Rhona, who died in 2020 at the age of 97, reached the top of the national skiing scene, with Rhona competing in the Olympics in 1948 and Rhoda in 1952. In 1948, the already injured Rhona broke her leg near the end of the course and placed last among the finishers, while Rhoda did not compete at all due to an ankle injury. Rhona, meanwhile, did not participate in 1952, while Rhoda had her best finish of ninth in the giant slalom. Both later had careers as ski instructors and were inaugurated into multiple Halls of Fame for their pioneering efforts in the field of Canadian women’s skiing. Rhoda is only the third Canadian Olympian to reach the age of 100!

1928 German Olympic Mysteries

Germany is a country for which we have very good data for the most part. As with any nation that has participated in the Games for such a long time, however, there are bound to be a handful of competitors about whom little is known, especially for those who participated in the earlier editions. Today on Oldest Olympians, we wanted to take a look at a few of those competitors from 1928 about whom we know so little that they could possibly (despite it being extremely unlikely) be alive.

Hermann Volz – Member of Germany’s weightlifting delegation to the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics

Hermann Volz represented Germany in the heavyweight weightlifting competition at the 1928 Summer Games where, despite setting a joint Olympic record in the snatch portion of the competition, he finished eighth out of 17 entrants. Aside from his affiliation, Turnerbund Cannstatt, we know nothing else about him.

Karl Max Reinhardt – Member of Germany’s bobsleigh delegation to the 1928 St. Moritz Olympics

Karl Max Reinhardt was on the German four/five-man bobsleigh team that finished 18th out of 23 entrants at the 1928 St. Moritz Games, while another German squad won the bronze medal. Relatively little is known about either of the teams, but Reinhardt is the only member with even a remote chance of being alive. He was a German champion in 1929, but otherwise we have been unable to uncover anything more about him.

Anton Huber – Member of Germany’s sailing delegation to the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics

Anton Huber was a member of the German 6 metres sailing crew that placed 9th among 13 entrants in the tournament at the 1928 Amsterdam Games. He was also a reserve with the 12-foot dinghy crew that placed fifth in that event, but Huber did not end up taking part. Considering that all of his teammates were born in the 1800s, it seems very likely that he is deceased, although we do not have any additional information on him to be certain.

Theodor Fischer – Member of Germany’s fencing delegation to the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics

Theodor Fischer represented Germany in both the individual and team épée events at the 1928 Amsterdam Games and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of both competitions. He was eighth at the national championships that same year, but otherwise we have no additional information about his career or life.

(Walter Müller)

As a footnote, there is also a German cyclist from the Amsterdam Games, P. Neymann, who was a reserve with the delegation but did not start. Without a first name, however, we have been unable to identify him further. Similarly, Fritz Lincke of Berliner SV 92 was a member of the German field hockey squad that won bronze in Amsterdam, but he did not see any playing time, and we know little else about him.

Finally, we wanted to take this time to update on a German-related topic. At the end of last year, we noted that gymnast Walter Müller, born December 31, 1930, was the oldest living Olympian to have represented Saar. We recently learned, however, that he unfortunately died on May 21, 2021, leaving his gymnastics teammate Heinz Ostheimer, born September 15, 1931, as the last surviving Olympian to have represented Saar.

Skijoring

As we try to catch up on our Olympic blog posts, we wanted to take a very brief look at one of the stranger Olympic demonstration events, at least in English-speaking countries: skijoring. At its most basic, skijoring is a skiing event where the competitors are being pulled across a racing course, traditionally by a reindeer and most popularly by horse, although often other pullers are used such as dogs, motorcycles, and snowmobiles.

(Skijoring at the 1928 St. Moritz Olympics)

Competitive skijoring has taken place in Scandinavian countries for well over a century and occasionally was contensted at the Nordic Games. This means that its appearance as a demonstration event at the 1928 St. Moritz Olympics was far from unprecedented. The race was held on a frozen lake with eight starters and was won by the Swiss Rudolf Wettstein, about whom we know nothing. The runner-up, however, was Bibi Torriani, much better known for his ice hockey career with Switzerland, as he appeared in three editions of the Olympic ice hockey tournament and won bronze in 1928 and 1948. The third-place finisher was Polish skier Henryk Mückenbrunn, who won numerous titles in more traditional skiing events, but had to withdraw from the 1924 Chamonix Olympics due to injury.

Having an unidentifiable winner of an Olympic demonstration event would probably be sufficient for an Olympic mysteries blog, but in fact Torriani and Mückenbrunn are the only two individuals that researchers have been able to identify with any certainty, and we are not even sure if the remainder are all Swiss. This is not helped by the fact that other five starters failed to complete the course. For two, we at least have full names – Peter Conrad and Fritz Kuhn – but these names are so common that, without any additional identifying information, we cannot connect anyone to the skijoring event.

From there, the information only gets sparser. For one, we at least know their first initial, F. Mordasini, while another we have only a surname: Brander. Then there is the final competitor, who rode the horse “Rival”, for whom we do not have any indication of their name whatsoever. The Olympic mysteries do not come much more mysterious than that!

Skijoring is still contested worldwide, in a variety of forms, but has never again appeared at the Olympics. There are other mysteries from the 1928 St. Moritz Games, such as the identities of French military ski patrol competitors R. Geindre and G. Périer, but skijoring seems to be the most enticing of them all. We hope you enjoyed reading briefly about the competition and that you will join us for another blog entry in the near future!

Mystery 1928 Olympic Art Competitors

Today on Oldest Olympians we wanted to cover a slightly more obscure topic: mystery art competitors from the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. The art competitions at the Olympic Games are a topic that is rarely touched upon, although it has been garnering more attention in recent years. There have been great strides made in connecting artists, writers, and musicians to their Olympic participation, but some remain elusive. As you might imagine, information on these individuals is scarce, if we know anything at all, and thus we will be covering these competitors only briefly and only those that are possibly (albeit extremely unlikely) to be alive.

Of the six individuals that we wish to mention today, only one was an architect: Pierre Souziff of France. Souziff entered his work “Une piscine” into the architectural competition, but as only medal winners were assigned to a specific category of the competition, he is listed among the “further entries” to the event. In searches, his name appears only in connection to the Olympics, suggesting that it was either a pseudonym or there is some error in spelling.

Of the remaining five competitors, we have full names for at least two of them. The first, Simon Frey of Switzerland, submitted the work “Sporting” into the Instrumental and Chamber Music event, a competition in which no medal was awarded. Unfortunately, Frey has the opposite problem of Souziff – his name is so common that we have been unable to identify an individual who can be linked to the Olympic submission. The second is Willy Favez, also of Switzerland, who submitted “Le Combat” (“The Fight”) to literature’s lyric works competition, but did not receive a medal. There is a Swiss Willy Favez born in 1898 who died in 1966, but we know of nothing that would tie him to the Olympian.

Two more of our mystery competitors also competed in the lyric works event. H. J. Ken of Austria submitted “Siegeskränze” (“Victory Wreaths”), but without more than initials, we have been unable to identify anything more about him. For the second, Voittout of Switzerland, we lack even initials and suspect that “Voittout” is a pseudonym. His submission for this competition was “La Défaite” (“The Defeat”), but he also competed in dramatic and epic works, with “Conflits Sportives” (“Sporting Conflicts”) and “Jarrets d’Acier” (“Ankle Joints of Steel”) respectively. The French director and cinematographer of educational shorts Edmond Floury (1887 – 1959) went by the pseudonym Voittout, but we have been unable to establish a definite connection between him and the Olympian.

The final individual on our list is B. Bosserdet of Switzerland, who submitted “Trilogie sur la Musique du Mouvement” (“Trilogy on the Music of Movement”) to music’s Compositions for Orchestra event. In this event, only one medal, bronze, was distributed, to Danish composer Rudolf Simonsen. Again, we know nothing about Bosserdet, and it is possible that his name is misspelled or a pseudonym.

That is all we have for today; an unfortunately undecorated blog entry for a post about art competitions! Nonetheless, we will return soon with a new topic and hope that you will join us!

Guyanese Olympic Mysteries

Today on Oldest Olympians we wanted to take a look at Olympic mysteries from a country that does not get much attention often: Guyana. We were inspired to make this post partially by the fact that one of the nation’s weightlifters, Winston McArthur, would have turned 90 on January 1 if he were still alive, but we were unable to locate any additional information on him. Then, Connor Mah pointed out several more cases, and we decided to make a quick post showcasing some of the country’s athletes.

Laddie Lewis – Guyana’s lone cyclist at the 1948 London Olympics

Laddie Lewis, born in 1915, was the sole cyclist among Guyana’s four-man inaugural delegation to the Olympics in 1948. In track cycling, he placed 21st and last in the time trial and was eliminated in the round one repêchage of the sprint. He also competed in the road race, but did not finish. His real name was Lionel F. Lewis and we have confirmed that he is deceased; however, we have been able to uncover little else about him, aside from the fact that he was the stepfather of Guyanese politician Lindley Geborde.

21st July 1948: Charles Thompson from British Guiana practising his starts at Richmond Olympic Camp. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

(Charles Thompson, pictured at Getty Images)

Charles Thompson – Guyana’s lone track and field athlete at the 1948 London Olympics

Charles Thompson, born in 1921, represented Guyana in two events at the 1948 London Games, being eliminated in the first round of both the 100 metres and the long jump. He was also entered in the triple jump, but did not start. He may have lived in St. Lucia at some point, but unfortunately we know nothing else about his personal life or career.

Cecil Moore – Lone Olympian from Guyana at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics

Cecil Moore, born November 1, 1929, represented Guyana in the light-heavyweight weightlifting event at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where he placed 17th. Unfortunately, we know of no other results for him, nor any other details of his life.

Michael Swain – Member of Guyana’s weightlifting delegation to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics

Michael Swain, born in 1933, represented Guyana in the bantamweight weightlifting tournament at the 1956 Melbourne Games, where he placed joint-13th. He was also fourth in that event at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Connor Mah has found a potential missing link in an individual of this name who was born February 14, 1933 in Georgetown, Guyana and died October 15, 1978 in Alameda, California. Unfortunately, we have been unable to confirm if this was the Olympian.

That is all we have for today but, before we depart, we wanted to provide an update on two of the Olympians we listed as having last been heard from in 2011. We want to thank Vesa Tikander for confirming that Finnish marathoner Eino Oksanen is still alive at the age of 90. We also want to thank Ralf Regnitter who verified that Swiss sport shooter Erwin Vogt is also still at the age of 90.

Final Updates from 2021

Happy New Year everyone! For today’s blog, we have decided to do a quick wrap up of some of the outstanding issues from 2021 that we would like to address. Primarily, we wanted to update you on some excellent Canada-related research provided by Connor Mah and Rob Gilmore that has solved some of our previous Olympic mysteries!

The first is a former Olympic rowing medal mystery, Al Taylor, who won bronze with Canada’s rowing eights at the 1932 Los Angeles Games. Previously, all we knew about his private life was that he was born c. 1911 and was a member of the Leander Boat Club of Hamilton, Ontario. Thanks to some good research, however, we now know that he was born May 20, 1911 in Belleville, Ontario and died September 9, 1988 in Hamilton. By career, he was a police officer.

Mah and Gilmore were also able to solve some of Canada’s Olympic sport shooting medal mysteries. We knew a fair amount about George Beattie, born May 28, 1877, who won three silver medals in trap between 1908 and 1924, but we were missing his date of death, which we now know as April 6, 1953.

They were also able to verify that the 1908 bronze medal-winning military rifle shooter Bruce Williams, born December 1876, was indeed the Bertram Williams born December 18, 1876 in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia who died January 27, 1934 in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. Similarly, they were able to confirm the candidate for silver medal-winning trap shooter Mylie Fletcher: he was Miles Edwin Fletcher, a Hamilton firefighter, born August 23, 1868 in Binbrook, Ontario who died October 25, 1959 in Hamilton.

(Lotte Haidegger)

In a Canada-related matter, the duo was also able to confirm the information on Austrian athletes Lotte Haidegger and Felix Würth that was posted on Wikipedia. Haidegger did indeed die February 14, 2004 in Puslich, Ontario, while her husband Felix was never the oldest living Austrian Olympian, as he died February 25, 2014 in Guelph, Ontario.

Finally, we have one more death to acknowledge, that of American sailor Norman Freeman, born November 14, 1931, who died December 27 at the age of 90. Freeman represented his country in the Flying Dutchman event at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where he placed sixth with his teammate John Mathias. One year earlier, the duo had taken bronze in that class at the Pan American Games and in 1974 Freeman was a silver medalist in the Laser class at the World Championships. A lawyer by career, he was arrested in 2005 on charges of sexual molestation charges involving three minor girls. He pleaded no contest to one of the charges and was given a 6½ year prison term.

Last Known Alive in 2011

At the beginning of this year, we listed six individuals for whom we last had information on their being alive in 2010: Mahmoud Beiglou, Silvio Brivio, Aurelio Díaz, Mariya Dimova, Silvia Glatthard, and Shmuel Laviv-Lubin. Since then, we learned that Brivio died later in 2010 and Glatthard was still alive in 2012, which means that the rest will unfortunately have to be removed from our tables and placed on the “possibly living” list. This brings us to our next task, reviewing those who were last known living since 2011. Since we have eight such cases, we want to provide just a brief overview of each in today’s blog.

François Fug – Member of Luxembourg’s shooting delegation to the 1960 Rome Olympics

François Fug, born February 7, 1931, represented Luxembourg in the free pistol, 50 metres event at the 1960 Rome Games, where he placed 51st. Like many Luxembourg athletes, this is all that we know about him, although we were able to find a report that he was still alive in 2011. Since then, however, we have heard nothing.

Geoff Haskett – Member of Australia’s basketball squad at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics

Geoff Haskett, born August 3, 1929, represented Australia in the basketball tournament at the 1956 Melbourne Games, where the nation placed 12th. He had a successful domestic career and was still alive in 2011, when he was inducted into the BNSW Hall of Fame. We do believe that he remains alive, but we have not seen any recent reports to confirm this.

(Ivan Jacob, pictured at The Hindu)

Ivan Jacob – Member of India’s athletics delegation to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics

Ivan Jacob, born January 1, 1928, represented India in the 400 metres event at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where he was eliminated in round one. He had better luck at the 1954 Asian Games, where he took home a silver medal from the 4×400 metres relay. A four-time national champion in the 400 metres, he worked as a police officer and later moved to Australia, where we last heard of him in 2011, although we suspect that he is still alive.

(Lazar Hristov, second from the right in the top row, pictured at Retro-Football)

Lazar Hristov – Alternate on Bulgaria’s football squad at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics

Lazar Hristov, born March 18, 1925, was an alternate with Bulgaria’s football squad at the 1952 Helsinki Games, but did not see any playing time as his country was eliminated in the qualifying round. He earned six caps with the national team between 1947 and 1952 and had a lengthy domestic career with Lokomotiv Sofia from 1942 through 1956, winning the First League in 1945 and the Bulgarian Cup in 1945, 1948, and 1953. According to a report from 2011, he was still alive at that time, but we have not heard anything about him since.

(Guy McGregor, pictured at the Gisborne Photo News)

Guy McGregor – Member of New Zealand’s filed hockey squads at the 1956 and 1960 Summer Olympics

Guy McGregor, born July 11, 1930, represented New Zealand in the field hockey tournaments at the 1956 and 1960 Summer Olympics, where his nation placed sixth and fifth respectively. He had initially begun his sporting career as a rugby player, but a knee injury in his teens led him to switch to hockey, in addition to finding success in cricket. We know that he was a physical education instructor by career and we believe that he is still alive (and the oldest living New Zealand Olympian!), although we have not had official confirmation of this since 2011.

Merv Moy – Member of Australia’s basketball squad at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics

Merv Moy, born April 19, 1930, represented Australia in the basketball tournament at the 1956 Melbourne Games, where his squad placed 12th. He had a decade-long domestic career, from 1948 through 1958, and was later employed by the NSW Police Force, rising to the rank of Chief Inspector. Like many of the individuals on this list, we suspect that he is still alive, although we have not had any clear confirmation of that since 2011.

Eino Oksanen – Member of Finland’s athletics delegation to the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Summer Olympics

Eino Oksanen, born May 7, 1931, represented Finland in the marathon at the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Summer Games, placing 10th, 24th, and 13th respectively. He is much better known, however, as a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon, having captured the crown in 1959, 1961, and 1962. He also won the 1959 and 1963 Nordic Championships, the 1957 Turku Marathon, and the 1959 Athens Peace Marathon, in addition to placing 12th at the 1962 European Championships. He later became a police officer and, while we find it unlikely that a three-time Boston Marathon winner would have died without widespread notice, stranger things have happened and the last source that we could find on him dates back to 2011.

Erwin Vogt – Member of Switzerland’s sport shooting delegations to the 1964, 1968, and 1972 Summer Olympics

Erwin Vogt, born September 17, 1931, represented Switzerland in five sport shooting events across three editions of the Summer Games, from 1964 through 1972, with a best finish of fifth in the free rifle, three positions, 300 metres in 1968. He had much better luck at the World Championships, winning 11 medals between 1962 and 1974, including gold in the 300 metres, free rifle kneeling event in 1962. Given this record, it seems unlikely that he died without notice, but we have not had an update since 2011.

Before we close, we wanted to point out one more sad development from 2021. Earlier this year, we noted that Julie Brougham, born May 20, 1954, had been the oldest competitor at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where she represented New Zealand in equestrian, and was therefore the oldest survivor of those Games. Unfortunately, she died of cancer on December 9, at the age of only 67. This leaves Australian equestrian Mary Hanna, born December 1, 1954, who was the oldest competitor at the 2020 Tokyo Games, as the oldest survivor from Rio.

Final 1931 Olympic Medal Mysteries

As we wrap up 2021, we wanted to share a handful of blog posts to address some outstanding issues from the year. Today, we wanted to address four Olympic medal mysteries from 1931 for whom we have been unable to find any confirmation as to whether they are alive or deceased.

Alena Chadimová – Member of the Czechoslovakian gymnastics team at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics

Alena Chadimová, born November 22, 1931, represented Czechoslovakia in gymnastics at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where she won a bronze medal with the team. Individually, her best result came in both the all-around and the floor exercise, where she placed 20th. We know that she won another bronze medal in the all-around at the 1954 World Championships, but otherwise we have been unable to locate more information about her.

Masami Kubota – Member of the Japanese gymnastics team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics

Masami Kubota, born December 6, 1931, won three medals for Japan in the gymnastics tournament at the 1956 Melbourne Games: silver in the parallel bars and the team all-around and bronze in the rings. He also took silver with the team at the 1954 World Championships but retired after the Olympics to take up teaching physical education at Tenri University. His wife Kyoko was also a gymnast in 1956, but unfortunately we have been unable to determine if either are still alive.

Aleksandr Zabelin – Member of the Soviet sport shooting delegation to the 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics

Aleksandr Zabelin, also born December 6, 1931, won a bronze medal for the Soviet Union in the rapid-fire pistol, 25 metres event at the 1960 Rome Games. He attempted to repeat this feat in Tokyo in 1964, but placed 16th. At the World Championships, he was a four-time gold medalist between 1958 and 1966, in addition to winning silver in 1958, all in individual or team pistol 25 metres events. We have been unable, however, to locate information on his life after the 1970s.

(Cortés pictured at En el Viejo Salto)

Ramiro Cortés – Member of Uruguay’s basketball squad at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics

Ramiro Cortés, born 1931, was a member of the Uruguayan basketball team that won bronze in the tournament at the 1956 Melbourne Games. He also won two medals at the South American Championships, gold in 1955 and silver in 1958. A plaque was unveiled in his honor recently, although it was unclear from the article as to whether or not he was still alive. Additionally, Wikipedia lists his date of birth as July 13, although we have been unable to confirm this either.

In terms of updates to older Olympic medal mysteries, we were forwarded confirmation that Romanian bronze medal-winning wrestler Francisc Horvath, born October 19, 1928, was still alive in 2021. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Adriano Brunelli was able to confirm that Italian bronze medal-winning fencer Roberto Ferrari died October 11, 1996 and thus was never among the oldest Olympians. Finally, after our last post, an article on the 100th anniversary of Elda Cividino’s birth was printed, but it sadly revealed that she had died back in 2014. That is what we have for today, but we should be posting at least one more blog entry before the end of the year, and we hope that you will join us!

The Historical List of Olympic Centenarians

Today on Oldest Olympians we wanted to provide a quick update on one of our associated projects: the historical list of Olympic centenarians. The list, which can be found here, has had several additions over the past year, in addition to the five Olympians that have (thus far) turned 100 in 2021. We thought it prudent, therefore, to draw some attention to some of the names that have been added that have not yet received any attention.

First, however, wanted to address a surprising removal. We have long listed French gymnast Lucien Démanet, born December 6, 1874, as having died March 16, 1979 at the age of 104 years, 100 days. Démanet won bronze medals in both of the editions that he competed in, individually in 1900 and with the team in 1920, and his lifespan made him the last survivor that we knew of from the former edition. Recent research, however, had indicated that Démanet actually died June 20, 1943 and was therefore never among the oldest Olympians. This leaves Max Décugis, who won a silver medal in doubles tennis in 1900, as the last known survivor of those Games, having died September 6, 1978 at the age of 95. It also means that American gymnast Rudy Schrader was the oldest living Olympian following the death of artist Mary Wesselhoeft on March 23, 1971, holding that title for nearly a decade!

Speaking of last survivor lists, back in April we learned that French athlete Émile Papot was born August 19, 1885 and died April 16, 1986, at the age of 100 years, 240 days. Papot was entered into the high and long jump events at the 1906 Intercalated Games, but only competed in the former, failing to finish in the top eight. Having outlived Turkish athlete Vahram Papazyan by a month, however, he has now became the last known survivor of that edition, as well as the only known centenarian from those Games.

(Francesco Pittaluga, seated center, in a picture from Tuttolevante.it)

Just this week, meanwhile, we learned of a centenarian that had gone completely under our radar: Italian rower Francesco Pittaluga, born October 11, 1913, who died February 10, 2016 at the age of 102 years, 122 days. Pittaluga represented his country in the coxed fours event at the 1936 Berlin Games, just missing the podium in fourth. He had better luck at the 1938 European Championships, where he won the silver medal. We have also learned of a centenarian among Olympic referees. Norwegian skiing referee Wilhelm Nilssen, born March 27, 1915, died on November 10, 2018 at the age of 103 years, 228 days. In addition to being a referee for both Nordic combined and ski jumping events at the 1972 Sapporo Games, he had a distinguished career as a resistance fighter during World War II.

We have one more potential centenarian for 2021, Italian gymnast Elda Cividino, born December 13, 1921. Unfortunately, we have not had an update on her since 2013, and thus it remains to be seen if she is still living. After that, we will be moving into 2022, where we have 11 individuals listed as potentially turning 100. We hope, therefore, that you will join us for more to come!

1948 French Rowing Mysteries

Today on Oldest Olympians, we wanted to cover French rowing mysteries from 1948. France had a large rowing contingent to the London Games, but we are missing a considerable amount of biographical data on the team. With so many members to cover, therefore, we feel that it is best to just jump right into this topic!

Gérald Maquat – Member of the coxed fours crew

In the past, we were very uncertain as to even Gérald Maquat’s real name, but now we know more about him than any other individual that we will be engaging today. Born July 15, 1912 in Switzerland, he won national championships in 1936 and 1941 and a European title in 1947, along with bronze in 1951. In 1948, he was a member of the coxed fours squad that was eliminated in the semifinals. Given his date of birth, he is definitely deceased, but we have been unable to locate when this occurred, perhaps because he moved back to Switzerland in his later years.

Marcel Boigegrain – Member of the coxed fours crew

Marcel Boigegrain was a teammate of Maquat in both his 1947 European Championship victory and his Olympic coxed fours squad. Contemporary reports of the former event list him as being 18 at the time, which means that he was born c. 1929. This may mean that he is still alive, or that he is the Marcel Lucien Boigegrain who was born July 26, 1929 and died September 12, 1986. Either way, we have been unable to confirm anything with certainty.

René Lotti – Member of the coxed fours crew

The most mysterious member of the Olympic coxed fours squad is René Lotti, who is listed as Jacques Lotti in many sources. We do know that he had a lengthy rowing career and at least some success in the international realm, as he won a bronze medal in the eights at the 1955 Mediterranean Games, but little else is certain. One candidate for his identity is Reno Lotti, born April 17, 1929, died December 29, 2020, but this is speculative as it would require his name having been incorrect in all contemporary reports (which, sadly, is not unheard of).

Aristide Sartor – Member of the coxed pairs crew

For Aristide Sartor, we have at least a date and place of birth, July 28, 1923 in Italy, and we know that he was the brother of Ampélio Sartor, one of his teammates. At the 1948 London Games, he took part in the coxed pairs and was eliminated in the semifinals. Beyond this, we know little about him, including when (and if) he died.

Roger Crezen – Member of the coxed pairs crew

The Sartor brothers’ third teammate was Roger Crezen, who has been listed incorrectly in the past as René Crezen. Aside from his Olympic results, we know little else other than that he was active as early as 1934 and is therefore likely deceased. A possible candidate is Jean-Joseph Roger Crézen, born April 16, 1911 and died April 1, 1995, but we have been unable to confirm a connection.

Robert Léon – Member of the coxed eights crew

Crezen was the cox of the pairs, while Robert Léon was the cox of the eights, which did not start in the round one repêchage and was thus eliminated from the tournament. This squad contains two of the currently oldest living Olympians, Roger Lebranchu and Philippe Fauveau, but unfortunately we know little about Léon. He was active in the early-to-mid 1930s, however, so it seems likely that he is deceased.

Pierre Clergerie – Member of the coxed eights crew

Finally, we have Pierre Clergerie, another member of the coxed eights squad. He too was active in the mid-1930s and therefore seems likely to be deceased. He also competed at the 1947 European Championships, but otherwise we have been able to discover little else about him.

Finally, before we end this entry, we would like to acknowledge and thank Muhammad Afsar Khan, who has provided us with information that has helped us solve some of our previous Olympic mysteries. Most notably, he informed us that Pakistani Olympic hockey medalist Habibur Rehman, whom we covered previously on this blog, died January 19, 1984. He also had information on the death of another hockey medalist, Latif-ur Rehman, who won medals for both India and Pakistan and died February 27, 1987, as well as others. We very much appreciate such contributions!

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