Prince Bira

Prince,Sailor,Race Car Driver,Pilot,Liked to Marry

Full name              Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh

Used name           Birabongse, Prince Bhanubandh

Original name    พีรพงศ์ ภาณุเดช

Other names      B. Bira, Prince Bira

Born                        15 July 1914; Krung Thep (Bangkok) (THA)

Died                         24 December 1985; London, Greater London (GBR)

Year-Games Sport Event Team Finish
1956 Summer Sailing 2-Person Keelboat Luang Pradiyat Navayudh 12
1960 Summer Sailing 2-Person Keelboat Boonpuen Chomvith 19
1964 Summer Sailing 3-Person Keelboat Linglom (boat) 22
1972 Summer Sailing 2-Person Keelboat Paitane Chulgatuppa 21

A grandson of King Mongkut, loosely portrayed in “The King and I” and “Anna and the King,” His Serene Highness Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh of Siam was educated at Eton and Cambridge. His mother died when he was only 4-years-old, and his father died while he was at Eton, leaving him an orphan. He moved in with a cousin in London, Prince Chula, and was accepted for Trinity College at Cambridge, but never graduated.

Prince Bira became involved in automobile racing in the 1930s, and singlehandedly established Thailand’s racing colors. Initially competing under the pseudonym of “B. Bira”, Bhanudej became best known as Prince Bira. Between 1950 and 1954, he competed in 19 Formula One World Championship races, scoring championship points on three occasions for a career total of eight. His best result was in the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix, in which he finished fourth in a Maserati. No other southeastern Asian driver would compete in Formula One until 2001 when Malaysian Alex Yoong raced for Minardi. Prince Bira also raced with some success in British rally cars.

Returning to Thailand in 1955, Prince Bira switched attention to a different hobby: sailing. He represented his country four times at the Olympics, although never with any significant success. Prince Bira was also instrumental in getting the Fireball World Championships to Thailand in 1978. In addition to race car driving and sailing, he was also an excellent pilot, both of gliders and motorized planes, and once flew his own two-engine plane from London to Bangkok.

Bira, who died of a heart attack in the London Underground in 1985, is remembered for his exploits by the Bira International Circuit outside Pattaya, and the Prince Bira Memorial Regatta, held since 1990. Prince Bira was married six times, twice to the same woman, Ceril Heycock, or the Princess Ceril Birabongse. They were married from 1938-49 and in what must be some sort of record, after 4 more wives, they were married again 34 years later, in 1983.

Olympic Footballers – Gold Medalists and World Cup Champions

With the 2014 World Cup now underway it may surprise many of you just how few people have performed the feat of winning both Olympic gold and a World Cup winners medal. It’s only been done 11 times in the men’s game and, since the last time it happened was in 1938, there is now no man alive who has achieved the feat. Despite women’s football having spent less than 20 years as an Olympic event it’s already been 15 times on the female side, mostly by Americans.

The fact that the World Cup only began in 1930 and was dominated by professionals post World War Two gave only a small window for the Olympic/World Cup double to be realistically achieved until the advent of professionals in the late 80s.
That’s why the 11 names on the list all came from the 1930s.
7 come from the Uruguay team of the late 20s and early 30s and the other 4 from the Italian team of the late 30s.
As for Brazilians? There aren’t any. Brazil have been so far thwarted in their attempts on the Olympic championships although with a home Olympics following a home World Cup this may well change.

The women’s tournament, free of the artificial restrictions that plague the men’s event, has already seen more do the double since 1996 than in the 114 year history of men’s Olympic football.

Jose Andrade

Men (11)

Athlete NOC Olympic Gold World Cup
José Andrade URU 1924-28 1930
Héctor Castro URU 1928 1930
Pedro Cea URU 1924-28 1930
Lorenzo Fernández URU 1928 1930
Alvaro Gestido URU 1928 1930
José Nasazzi URU 1924-28 1930
Héctor Scarone URU 1924-28 1930
Sergio Bertoni ITA 1936 1938
Alfredo Foni ITA 1936 1938
Ugo Locatelli ITA 1936 1938
Pietro Rava ITA 1936 1938

Women (15)

Athlete NOC Olympic Gold World Cup
Michelle Akers USA 1996 1991 & 1999
Tisha Venturini USA 1996 1999
Brandi Chastain USA 1996 & 2004 1991 & 1999
Joy Fawcett USA 1996 & 2004 1999
Julie Foudy USA 1996 & 2004 1991 & 1999
Mia Hamm USA 1996 & 2004 1991 & 1999
Kristine Lilly USA 1996 & 2004 1991 & 1999
Shannon MacMillan USA 1996 1999
Tiffeny Milbrett USA 1996 1999
Carla Overbeck USA 1996 1999
Cindy Parlow USA 1996 & 2004 1999
Christie Pearce-Rampone USA 2004 2008 & 2012 1999
Tiffany Roberts USA 1996 & 2004 1999
Briana Scurry USA 1996 & 2004 1999
Kate Sobrero-Markgraf USA 2004 & 2008 1999
Gro Espeseth NOR 2000 1995
Bente Nordby NOR 2000 1995
Marianne Pettersen NOR 2000 1995
Hege Riise NOR 2000 1995

Mia Hamm

Looking to add their names to the list this year will be the following players. Cameroon won Olympic gold in 2000, Argentina in 2004-08, and Mexico in 2012, defeating Brazil in the final match. (Yuichi Nishimura was not refereeing the Mexico-Brazil match in London.)

Samuel Eto’o

José de Jesús Corona
Carlos Salcido
Diego Antonio Reyes
Javier Aquino
Giovani dos Santos
Marco Fabián
Héctor Herrera
Raúl Jiménez
Oribe Peralta
Miguel Ángel Ponce

Ezequiel Garay
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Fernando Gago
Javier Mascherano
Lionel Messi
Ángel di María
Pablo Zabaleta
Sergio Agüero
Sergio Romero

This is not an easy thing to do. Both the Olympics and the World Cup only take place every four years and teams cannot even use all the same players in the two tournaments – there are some age limits at the Olympics. Further, not all teams compete in both events. Great Britain competes at the Olympics, while England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have separate teams for the World Cup. If we limit ourselves to the World Cup era (1924-2012), here are the only nations that have even won both an Olympic and a World Cup title – note that Brazil is not on this list. Brazil has won 5 World Cups but never won an Olympic gold medal.

Winning Both World Cup Olympics
Italy 4 1
Argentina 2 2
Uruguay 2 2
France 1 1
Spain 1 1

Hockey Gold Medals and the Stanley Cup

The Los Angeles Kings have now won the 2014 Stanley Cup. Prior to this there were 52 hockey players to have won an Olympic gold medal and had their names engraved on Lord Stanley’s Cup, but with the Kings victory, two more players will be added to this list – Drew Doughty, who played for Canada in 2010 and 2014,  and Mike Richards, who played for Canada in 2010 at Vancouver. In addition, Jeff Carter, who was already on the list from his 2014 Olympic gold and 2012 Stanley Cup (also with the Kings) gets his data updated slightly. Here is the list prior to 2014:

Athlete NOC OlyGold Stanley Cups
Patrice Bergeron CAN 2010-14 2011 Boston Bruins
Rob Blake CAN 2002 2001 Colorado Avalanche
Dan Boyle CAN 2010 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning
Martin Brodeur CAN 2002/10 1995/00/03 New Jersey Devils
Jeff Carter CAN 2014 2012 Los Angeles Kings
Sidney Crosby CAN 2010-14 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins
Slava Fetisov URS 1984-88 1998 Detroit Red Wings
Adam Foote CAN 2002 2001 Colorado Avalanche
Peter Forsberg SWE 1994 1996/01 Colorado Avalanche
Ryan Getzlaf CAN 2010-14 2007 Anaheim Ducks
Aleksey Gusarov URS 1988 1996 Colorado Avalanche
Dominik Hašek CZE 1998 2002/08 Detroit Red Wings
Milan Hejduk CZE 1998 2001 Colorado Avalanche
Tomas Holmström SWE 2006 2008 Detroit Red Wings
Jaromír Jágr CZE 1998 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins
Tomas Jonsson SWE 1994 1982-83 New York Islanders
Valery Kamensky URS 1988 1996 Colorado Avalanche
Duncan Keith CAN 2010-14 2010 Chicago Blackhawks
Patric Kjellberg SWE 1994 1993 Montréal Canadiens
Aleksey Kovalyov EUN 1992 1994 New York Rangers
Niklas Kronwall SWE 2006 2008 Detroit Red Wings
Chris Kunitz CAN 2014 2007 Anaheim Ducks / 09 Pittsburgh Penguins
Igor Larionov URS 1984-88 1997-98/02 Detroit Red Wings
Nicklas Lidström SWE 2006 2008 Detroit Red Wings
Håkan Loob SWE 1994 1989 Calgary Flames
Vladimir Malakhov EUN 1992 2000 New Jersey Devils
Bert McCaffrey CAN 1924 1930 Montréal Canadiens
Dmitry Mironov EUN 1992 1998 Detroit Red Wings
Fredrik Modin SWE 2006 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning
Aleksandr Mogilny URS 1988 2000 New Jersey Devils
Ken Morrow USA 1980 1980-83 New York Islanders
Dunc Munro CAN 1924 1926 Montréal Maroons
Mats Näslund SWE 1994 1986 Montréal Canadiens
Scott Niedermayer CAN 2002/10 1995/00/03 New Jersey Devils / 07 Anaheim Ducks
Joe Nieuwendyk CAN 2002 1989 Calgary Flames / 99 Dallas Stars / 03 New Jersey Devils
Corey Perry CAN 2010-14 2007 Anaheim Ducks
Chris Pronger CAN 2002/10 2007 Anaheim Ducks
Joe Sakic CAN 2002 2001 Colorado Avalanche
Mikael Samuelsson SWE 2006 2008 Detroit Red Wings
Brent Seabrook CAN 2010 2010 Chicago Blackhawks
Brendan Shanahan CAN 2002 1998/02 Detroit Red Wings
Patrick Sharp CAN 2014 2010/13 Chicago Blackhawks
Jiří Šlégr CZE 1998 2002 Detroit Red Wings
Richard Šmehlík CZE 1998 2003 New Jersey Devils
Hooley Smith CAN 1924 1927 Ottawa Senators / 35 Montréal Maroons
Eric Staal CAN 2010 2006 Carolina Hurricanes
Petr Svoboda CZE 1998 1986 Montréal Canadiens
Jonathan Toews CAN 2010/14 2010 Chicago Blackhawks
Dave Trottier CAN 1928 1935 Montréal Maroons
Steve Yzerman CAN 2002 1998/02 Detroit Red Wings
Henrik Zetterberg SWE 2006 2008 Detroit Red Wings
Sergey Zubov EUN 1992 1994 New York Rangers / 98 Dallas Stars

It is even more unusual for a player to win a gold medal and play on the Stanley Cup champions in the same year. In fact, this has only happened 6 times previously. Here is the full list, adding Carter and Doughty to the list.

Athlete NOC OlyGold Stanley Cup
Ken Morrow USA 1980 1980 New York Islanders
Brendan Shanahan CAN 2002 2002 Detroit Red Wings
Steve Yzerman CAN 2002 2002 Detroit Red Wings
Duncan Keith CAN 2010 2010 Chicago Blackhawks
Brent Seabrook CAN 2010 2010 Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews CAN 2010 2010 Chicago Blackhawks
Jeff Carter CAN 2014 2014 Los Angeles Kings
Drew Doughty CAN 2014 2014 Los Angeles Kings

Olympians at the US Open

The US Open starts today at Pinehurst, playing the fabled #2 course, the quintessential Donald Ross design. As with the World Cup, also starting today, Olympians have played in the US Open but its been quite awhile since they have done so. Golf was on the Olympic Program in 1900 and 1904, so this would make some sense. Olympic golfers only competed in the US Open at five tournaments – 1904, 1906, 1911, 1914, and 1919.

The 1904 tournament was held at Glen View Club, in the aptly named town of Golf, Illinois. H. Chandler Egan, who won the silver medal in the 1904 Olympics, and was 1904-05 US Amateur Champion, played and finished tied for 20th. Also playing that year were 1904 Olympians Bob Hunter (=23), Ken Edwards (=26), Mason Phelps (=43), Walter Egan, Chandler’s brother who finished 46th, and Nat Moore, who missed the first ever cut at the US Open. Walter Egan was the 1903 Western Amateur Champion and had been runner-up in the US Amateur in 1901. Phelps was the 1908 and 1910 Western Amateur Champion.

Chandler Egan
Chandler Egan

In 1906 with the Open at Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, Chandler Egan played again, finishing tied for 8th, the best ever finish in a US Open by an Olympian. He was joined again by Hunter, who placed =39th. Hunter would later win the 1910 NCAA Championship while a student at Yale and in 1911 lost in the finals of the North & South Amateur to Chick Evans. The third Olympian playing in 1906 was Warren Wood, who finished 31st. Wood had just won the 1906 North & South Amateur, and would later win the 1913 Western Amateur and lose in the finals of the 1910 US Amateur.

Since many of the 1904 Olympians were from the Midwest, and travel was much more difficult in that era, the next US Open at which Olympians competed was in 1911, at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, lllinois. Chandler Egan competed again, the only Olympian to compete in 3 US Opens, this time finishing =23. Mason Phelps also returned, finishing in a tie for 23rd. A new Olympian made an appearance, with Daniel Edward “Ned” Sawyer tieing for 18th.

In 1914 the Open again returned to the Midwest, this time held at Midlothian Country Club in Blue Island, Illinois. Warren Wood and Ken Edwards returned, finishing =22 and =33 respectively. The final appearance by an Olympian at the US Open came in 1919 at Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton, Massachusetts, the only time an Olympian competed at a US Open not held in Illinois. This was another appearance by Ned Sawyer, who tied for 43rd. Sawyer was the 1906 Western Amateur Champion and had been runner-up in the 1905 US Amateur to Chandler Egan.

And thus it ended, although when golf returns to the Olympic Program in 2016 (assuming the course is finished), this list will obviously enlarge greatly. Nobody from the 1900 Olympic golf tournament ever competed at a US Open, and the 1904 gold medalist, Canadian George Lyon, also never did, although he was runner-up in the 1906 US Amateur.

If we include the US Women’s Open, there is one very famous name to add, that of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. The Babe won 2 gold medals and a silver medal in track & field at the 1932 Olympics and then turned to professional golf, becoming the first real star of the LPGA Tour. She won 41 tournaments on the LPGA Tour, including 10 major championships, of which 3 were victories in the US Women’s Open – in 1948, 1950, and dramatically, her final major championship in 1954 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts, when she competed despite recently recovering from surgery for colon cancer, and while wearing a colostomy bag. The disease would take her life two years later.

Babe Didrikson
Babe Didrikson

Another great female golfer / Olympian never had a chance to compete in the US Women’s Open, that being Lottie Dod. Dod rivals Didrikson Zaharias as the greatest ever all-around female athlete. She was a silver medalist in archery at the 1908 Olympics, was a five-time singles champion at Wimbledon in the 19th century, and won the British Ladies’ Amateur Golf Championship in 1904 at Troon. There was no US Women’s Open in that era, which started in 1946, but Dod travelled to America and competed in the 1905 US Women’s Amateur, unfortunately losing in the first round.

Identical Team Defenders

Defending an Olympic title is a major accomplishment, because it signifies international dominance over a 4-year period. Individually, however, it is not that uncommon, and we have examples of 5 Olympians winning individual gold medals at 4 consecutive Olympics – track & field athletes Ray Ewry (1900-08), Al Oerter (1956-68), and Carl Lewis (1984-96); and sailors Paul Elvstrøm (1948-60) and Ben Ainslie (2000-12).

But what about teams that defend an Olympic gold medal? And we are not talking here simply about nations repeating, such as India winning every hockey gold medal from 1928-56, or the USA winning basketball gold from 1936-68, or Canada and the Soviets dominating ice hockey for decades.

What we’re interested in is knowing which teams defended their Olympic titles, with the exact same team members. By team we mean anytime 2 or more athletes compete together in the same event for a single Olympic championship, so this includes tennis doubles, two-man bobsledding, and numerous other 2-person events.

And we find that repeating as a team has been done 43 times, with 2 teams actually winning gold medals at 3 consecutive Olympics. That would be the Slovakian brother tandem of Pavol and Petr Hochschorner, who won in the Canadian doubles slalom canoeing from 2000-08, earning a bronze medal in the event in 2012; and the US beach volleyball team of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, who won the women’s event in 2004-12.

There are two candidates with a chance to equal this mark. Americans Serena and Venus Williams won the tennis women’s doubles gold medal in 2008 and 2012 and could win a third in 2016. Canadians Kallie Humphries and Heather Moyse won the women’s bobsledding two-person event in 2010 and 2014, and could add a third in 2018. Theoretically, Walsh and May-Treanor could go for 4 straight in 2016, but May retired from competition after the London Olympics, so that will not happen.

But there was one other team that virtually did this at 3 consecutive Olympics, and they did it with 3 team members. In equestrian team dressage, the Swedish team of Henri Saint Cyr, Gustaf Boltenstern, Jr., and Gehnäll Persson won the gold medal in 1952 and 1956. They also had the highest score in the event in 1948, dominating it, but the team was disqualified that year when it was discovered that Persson was not a military officer, which was then required for Olympic equestrian events, a rule that was changed after 1948.

The entire list is below. At the end of the top line of each entry you will see something like #2, which details how many team members there were. Now obviously, its easier to do this sort of repeat with fewer team members. It is simply never going to happen that a football (soccer) or ice hockey team is going to repeat with the same 23 or so team members.

In fact, it is much rarer to do this with more than 2 team members. It has happened as follows: 6 team members – 1; 5 team members – 1; 4 team members – 3; and 3 team members – 7. The 6-member team repeat was remarkably done by the Hungarian men’s sabre team in 1948-52, while the 5-member team was performed by the Soviet women’s foil team in 1968-72. Doing this with 4-member teams is also quite a feat, having been done by the East German coxless fours rowing team in 1968-72, a team termed by Olympic filmmaker Bud Greenspan as “The Dresden Four;” the Hungarian men’s kayak fours canoe team in 2000-04; and Sweden’s women’s curling team in 2006-10.

Of the 43 times this has been accomplished, 10 have occurred at the Winter Olympics, which is about right, as there are about 3 times as many Summer Olympic events as Winter Olympic events. This has been done 19 times in men’s events, 15 times in women’s events, and 9 times in mixed events.

The first time this was ever accomplished was by the American rowing doubles sculls tandem of Jack Kelly and Paul Costello in 1920-24. It first occurred at the Winter Games in 1928-32 when the French figure skating pair of Andrée Brunet-Joly and her husband, Pierre Brunet, won gold medals at both St. Moritz and Lake Placid.

By far the two most common sports for this to occur have been rowing (10) and canoeing (8), usually in events with only 2 team members. Figure skating is next with 4 occurrences, followed by bobsledding and sailing, with 3 each.

Among nations, China leads with 5 team repeats, but Germany has 7 in a sense – with 1 by the Federal Republic of Germany (West), 4 by the German Democratic Republic (East), and 2 by unified Germany. As independent nations, the United States and the GDR trail China with 4 team repeats, followed by Hungary, Romania, and the Soviet Union, with 3 each.


3    Slovakia (Canoeing Men’s Canadian Doubles, Slalom; 2000-2008; #2) (Pavol Hochschorner, Petr Hochschorner)

3    United States (Beach Volleyball Women’s Team; 2004-2012; #2) (Kerri Walsh, Misty May-Treanor)

2    Hungary (Fencing Men’s Sabre, Team; 1948-1952; #6) (Aladár Gerevich, Rudolf Kárpáti, Pál Kovács, Tibor Berczelly, László Rajcsányi, Bertalan Papp)

2    Soviet Union (Fencing Women’s Foil, Team; 1968-1972; #5) (Yelena Novikova, Galina Gorokhova, Aleksandra Zabelina, Tatyana Samusenko, Svetlana Tširkova)

2    German Demo. Rep. (Rowing Men’s Coxless Fours; 1968-1972; #4) (Frank Forberger, Dieter Grahn, Frank Rühle, Dieter Schubert)

2    Hungary (Canoeing Men’s Kayak Fours, 1,000 metres; 2000-2004; #4) (Gábor Horváth, Zoltán Kammerer, Botond Storcz, Ákos Vereczkei)

2    Sweden (Curling Women’s Curling; 2006-2010; #4) (Anette Norberg, Eva Lund, Cathrine Lindahl, Anna Svärd-Le Moine)

2    The Netherlands (Equestrian Events Men’s Three-Day Event, Team; 1924-1928; #3) (Adolf van der Voort van Zijp, Charles Pahud de Mortanges, Gerard de Kruijff)

2    Norway (Sailing Mixed Three-Person Keelboat (Dragon); 1948-1952; #3) (Thor Thorvaldsen, Sigve Lie, Håkon Barfod)

2    Sweden (Equestrian Events Mixed Dressage, Team; 1952-1956; #3) (Henri Saint Cyr, Gustaf Boltenstern, Jr., Gehnäll Persson)

2    German Demo. Rep. (Rowing Men’s Coxed Pairs; 1976-1980; #3) (Harald Jährling, Friedrich-Wilhelm Ulrich, Georg Spohr)

2    Denmark (Sailing Mixed Three-Person Keelboat (Soling); 1976-1980; #3) (Poul Jensen, Valdemar Bandolowski, Erik Hansen)

2    Italy (Rowing Men’s Coxed Pairs; 1984-1988; #3) (Carmine Abbagnale, Giuseppe Abbagnale, Giuseppe Di Capua)

2    Austria (Sailing Mixed Multihull (Tornado); 2000-2004; #3) (Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher)

2    United States (Rowing Men’s Double Sculls; 1920-1924; #2) (Jack Kelly, Paul Costello)

2    France (Figure Skating Mixed Pairs; 1928-1932; #2) (Andrée Brunet-Joly, Pierre Brunet)

2    Fed. Rep. Germany (Canoeing Women’s Kayak Doubles, 500 metres; 1964-1968; #2) (Roswitha Esser, Annemarie Zimmermann)

2    Soviet Union (Figure Skating Mixed Pairs; 1964-1968; #2) (Lyudmila Belousova, Oleg Protopopov)

2    Soviet Union (Figure Skating Mixed Pairs; 1976-1980; #2) (Irina Rodnina, Aleksandr Zaytsev)

2    German Demo. Rep. (Luge Men’s Doubles; 1976-1980; #2) (Hans Rinn, Norbert Hahn)

2    German Demo. Rep. (Rowing Men’s Coxless Pairs; 1976-1980; #2) (Jörg Landvoigt, Bernd Landvoigt)

2    Romania (Canoeing Men’s Canadian Doubles, 1,000 metres; 1980-1984; #2) (Ivan Patzaichin, Toma Simionov)

2    New Zealand (Canoeing Men’s Kayak Doubles, 500 metres; 1984-1988; #2) (Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald)

2    Switzerland (Bobsledding Men’s Two; 1992-1994; #2) (Gustav Weder, Donat Acklin)

2    Germany (Canoeing Men’s Kayak Doubles, 500 metres; 1992-1996; #2) (Kay Bluhm, Torsten Gutsche)

2    Great Britain (Rowing Men’s Coxless Pairs; 1992-1996; #2) (Steven Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent)

2    China (Table Tennis Women’s Doubles; 1992-1996; #2) (Deng Yaping, Qiao Hong)

2    United States (Tennis Women’s Doubles; 1992-1996; #2) (Mary Joe Fernandez, Gigi Fernandez)

2    Russia (Figure Skating Mixed Ice Dancing; 1994-1998; #2) (Oksana “Pasha” Grishchuk, Yevgeny Platov)

2    China (Badminton Women’s Doubles; 1996-2000; #2) (Ge Fei, Gu Jun)

2    China (Badminton Mixed Doubles; 2000-2004; #2) (Zhang Jun, Gao Ling)

2    Poland (Rowing Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls; 2000-2004; #2) (Tomasz Kucharski, Robert Sycz)

2    Romania (Rowing Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls; 2000-2004; #2) (Constanta Burcică, Angela Alupei)

2    China (Canoeing Men’s Canadian Doubles, 500 metres; 2004-2008; #2) (Meng Guanliang, Yang Wenjun)

2    Hungary (Canoeing Women’s Kayak Doubles, 500 metres; 2004-2008; #2) (Katalin Kovács, Natasa Janics)

2    China (Diving Women’s Synchronized Springboard; 2004-2008; #2) (Wu Minxia, Guo Jingjing)

2    New Zealand (Rowing Women’s Double Sculls; 2004-2008; #2) (Georgina Evers-Swindell, Caroline Evers-Swindell)

2    Romania (Rowing Women’s Coxless Pairs; 2004-2008; #2) (Georgeta Andrunache, Viorica Susanu)

2    Russia (Synchronized Swimming Women’s Duet; 2004-2008; #2) (Anastasiya Davydova, Anastasiya Yermakova)

2    Germany (Bobsledding Men’s Two; 2006-2010; #2) (André Lange, Kevin Kuske)

2    Austria (Luge Men’s Doubles; 2006-2010; #2) (Andreas Linger, Wolfgang Linger)

2    United States (Tennis Women’s Doubles; 2008-2012; #2) (Serena Williams, Venus Williams)

2          Canada (Bobsledding Women’s Two; 2010-2014; #2) (Kallie Humphries, Heather Moyse)

Olympians of Royal Blood

A number of Olympians were to the manor born, a number were born and lived in poverty, and a very few were born of royal blood.  With our recent post concerning King Juan Carlos I of Spain, an Olympian in , now seems a good time to look at Olympians who had royal blood. Here are the Olympians who held royal status in their nations.

Athlete NOC Sport Era Notes
Jefri Bolkiah Prince Abdul Hakeem BRU SHO 1996-2000 Prince; Brother of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei
Adegboyega Prince Adedoyin GBR ATH 1948 Prince; Exact status unknown
Karim Prince Aga Khan IRI ASK 1964 Prince; 49th Imam of the Ismaelis; Later the Aga Khan IV of Ismaili Shia Islam
HRH Princess Anne GBR EQU 1976 HRH The Princess Royal; Daughter of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Mohammad Asif AFG HOK 1936 Shahzada
Esper Beloselsky RUS SAI 1912 Prince
Birabongse; Prince Bhanubandh THA SAI 1956-1972 Prince; Grandson of King Mongkut of Siam
Arunee Princess Bhanubandh THA SAI 1964 Princess
Cristina Princess de Borbón ESP SAI 1988 Princess; Daughter of King Juan Carlos I of Spain
Felipe Crown Prince de Borbón ESP SAI 1992 Crown Prince; Son of King Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos Crown Prince de Borbón ESP SAI 1972 Crown Prince; Later King Juan Carlos I of Spain
Joseph Prince de Caramas-Chimay FRA FEN 1900 19ème Prince de Caraman-Chimay
Gabriele D'Annunzio ITA ART 1912 Principe di Montenevoso
Shuja ud-Din AFG HOK 1936 Shahzada
Patricia Galvin de la Tour d'Auvergne USA EQU 1960-1964 Patricia Galvin; but later the Princess de la Tour d’Auvergne
Albert Prince Grimaldi MON BOB 1988-2002 Prince; Later Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco
Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf SWE EQU 1936 Crown prince; Son of Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Crown Prince Harald NOR SAI 1964-1972 Crown Prince; Later King Harald V of Norway
HRH Princess Haya JOR EQU 2000 Daughter of King Hussain I; later IOC Member for United Arab Emirates.
Ernst zu Hohenlohe AUT FEN 1912 Prince
Max Prince von Hohenlohe LIE ASK 1956 Prince
Crown Prince Konstantinos GRE SAI 1960 Crown Prince; Later King Konstantinos II of Greece (presently in exile)
Firidun Malkom IRI FEN 1900 Prince
Louis Napoléon Murat FRA EQU 1900 Prince
Crown Prince Olav NOR SAI 1928 Crown Prince; Later King Olav of Norway
Konstantin Prince von Padua LIE ASK 1948 Prince
Daria Pratt USA GOL 1900 Daria Pratt; later Princess Karageorgevitch of Serbia
Friedrich Karl Prince von Preußen GER EQU 1912 Prince of Prussia; Nephew of Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany
Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich Romanov RUS EQU 1912 Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia
Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein DEN EQU 2008-12 Princess
Karni Singh IND SHO 1960-80 HH Maharajadhiraj Raj Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sri – 24th Maharaj of Bikaner
Mohammad Sultan AFG HOK 1936 Shahzada
Hubertus von Fürstenberg-von Hohenlohe MEX ASK 1984-2014 Prince; Son of Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Ira of Fürstenberg; the reigning dynasty of Württemberg; a former principality in what is now Germany.
Sergey Yuryevich RUS ART 1924 Prince

See also

Ginny Gilder

Rower, investor, philanthropist, social activist

Full name          Virginia Anne “Ginny” Gilder

Used name       Ginny Gilder

Born                     4 June 1958 in New York, NY (USA)

Ht / Wt              170 cm / 67 kg

Affiliations        Boston Rowing Club, Boston (USA)

Year-Games Sport Event Finish Medal
1984-S Rowing Quadruple Sculls 2 Silver

Ginny Gilder rowed at Yale, where she was All-Ivy twice. As a freshman she was part of the famed Yale women’s crew that protested the lack of equal facilities for women by participating in a “crew strip.” Gilder won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics, but also had been a member of the ill-fated 1980 US Olympic team. She was third at the 1983 World Championships in single sculls, and also won the women’s elite singles at the Head of the Charles in 1982-84.

Gilder was raised on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, born to Richard Gilder, a broker who had his investment firm which specialized in leveraged stocks. With the family background in financial instruments, Gilder began a career in investments after college, starting several businesses and non-profits. She formed her own investment firm and was also President of her family’s philanthropic endeavors, which invested in world-wide projects promoting social justice. She started Washington Works, a non-profit to help welfare recipients obtain employment and was the group’s first Executive Director, and was also a co-founder and board member of the Seattle Girl’s School. In 2008 Gilder joined with two other successful businesswomen (Lisa Brummel and Dawn Trudeau) to form Force 10 Hoops LLC, which bought the Seattle Storm women’s team in the WNBA.


See also

Summer Olympic Costs

Recently we looked at the costs of the Sochi Winter Olympics and how they compared to all previous Winter Olympic costs. Let’s do a similar analysis today for the Summer Olympics.

We’ll use the same methodology we used for the Winter Olympics. We’ll compare constant costs by using historical inflation values for the US dollar against 2000 dollar values. We will then also compare constant costs against the number of athletes competing and the number of athletes x sports, again because the more athletes, the more costs involved, and the more sports (or disciplines), usually the more stadia that need to be constructed. In all cases, we have used the original currency figures and corrected against US dollars for that era.

So here are the absolute numbers and the numbers corrected against inflation.

Year Cost Value (2000$) ConstantCost
1896 $0.45 23.610 $19060
1900 $0.70 22.250 $31460
1904 $0.30 20.763 $14448
1908 $0.39 19.000 $20527
1912 $0.67 17.740 $37486
1920 $0.50 9.629 $51927
1924 $1.00 9.736 $102710
1928 $1.18 9.576 $123219
1932 $1.00 10.958 $91261
1936 $30.00 12.162 $2466642
1948 $2.90 7.472 $388137
1952 $4.94 6.400 $771684
1956 $13.60 6.213 $2189087
1960 $71.20 5.724 $12439216
1964 $1926.00 5.446 $353624584
1968 $175.00 4.988 $35083379
1972 $611.90 4.112 $148812522
1976 $1382.70 3.098 $446312378
1980 $2000.00 2.296 $871131414
1984 $546.00 1.673 $326303634
1988 $4047.00 1.467 $2758928690
1992 $7000.00 1.224 $5717756457
1996 $1686.00 1.094 $1540991021
2000 $5600.00 1.000 $5600000000
2004 $11600.00 0.905 $12815660214
2008 $44000.00 0.803 $54764542742
2012 $14600.00 0.741 $19698345130

Above, cost is listed in millions of US$ while constant cost is listed in thousands of US$. One thing to note above – 1900, 1904, and 1920 original costs are estimates. The figures are simply not available. For 1900 and 1904 it is mainly because the Games were held as parts of the World Fairs, and those figures are available for World Fair costs, but it cannot be determined exactly how much was allocated to the Olympic events.

So as expected, even corrected against inflation, Beijing was by far the most expensive Summer Olympics ever. In fact, as we’ll show later, it was more expensive, in constant dollars, than all previous Summer Olympics. Beijing is actually close to being more expensive than all other Olympic Games, in real and constant costs, even adding in the costs for London in 2012.

What about if we compare using constant dollars against number of athletes? And we’ll also use constant dollars against a new figure – number of athletes x number of sports – to take into effect both factors that tend to increase the size of cost of Olympics.

Year CC Ath Spts CC/A CC/A-S
1896 $19060 176 9 $108.29 $12.03
1900 $31460 1224 21 $25.70 $1.22
1904 $14448 650 18 $22.23 $1.23
1908 $20527 2023 23 $10.15 $0.44
1912 $37486 2377 16 $15.77 $0.99
1920 $51927 2664 22 $19.49 $0.89
1924 $102710 3067 19 $33.49 $1.76
1928 $123219 2878 16 $42.81 $2.68
1932 $91261 1334 16 $68.41 $4.28
1936 $2466642 3956 21 $623.52 $29.69
1948 $388137 4073 19 $95.30 $5.02
1952 $771684 4932 19 $156.46 $8.23
1956 $2189087 3344 19 $654.63 $34.45
1960 $12439216 5350 19 $2325.09 $122.37
1964 $353624584 5137 21 $68838.74 $3278.04
1968 $35083379 5557 20 $6313.37 $315.67
1972 $148812522 7113 23 $20921.20 $909.62
1976 $446312378 6073 23 $73491.25 $3195.27
1980 $871131414 5259 23 $165645.83 $7201.99
1984 $326303634 6798 25 $47999.95 $1920.00
1988 $2758928690 8453 27 $326384.56 $12088.32
1992 $5717756457 9386 29 $609179.25 $21006.18
1996 $1540991021 10339 31 $149046.43 $4807.95
2000 $5600000000 10648 34 $525920.36 $15468.25
2004 $12815660214 10561 34 $1213489.27 $35690.86
2008 $54764542742 10901 34 $5023809.08 $147759.09
2012 $19698345130 10520 34 $1872466.27 $55072.54

CC=constant costs (thousand US$); CC/A=constant costs/athlete; CC/A-S=constant costs/athlete-sport.

Once again, Beijing was way more expensive, in terms of constant costs per athlete and constant costs per athlete-sports, than any other Summer Olympics. We will also show that it was more expensive for both parameters than all previous Summer Olympics combined.

One other thing to note is how much the costs have inflated, against constant costs relative to the size of the Games. In 1908, London spent less than 50 cents on each athlete x sport (or against the size of the Games), in 2000 dollars, while Beijing spent almost $148,000 on the same parameter – an actual Olympic inflation rate of just under 30 million%!

In the following we will compare each Summer Olympics to the combined costs of all previous Summer Olympics. Here are those numbers.

1900 1.651 0.102
1904 0.286 0.093
1908 0.316 0.030
1912 0.438 0.066
1920 0.422 0.056
1924 0.587 0.105
1928 0.444 0.144
1932 0.228 0.201
1936 5.013 1.164 >previous
1948 0.131 0.091
1952 0.231 0.137
1956 0.532 0.503
1960 1.972 1.189 >previous
1964 18.863 14.550 >previous
1968 0.094 0.090
1972 0.365 0.238
1976 0.802 0.676
1980 0.869 0.909
1984 0.174 0.127
1988 1.254 0.709
1992 1.153 0.721
1996 0.144 0.096
2000 0.458 0.282
2004 0.719 0.507
2008 1.788 1.393 >previous
2012 0.231 0.217

CAPCC=compare all previous constant costs; CAPCC/A-S=compare all previous constant costs/athlete-sport.

This may not seem obvious so let’s look at it. In 1936 Berlin was 5.013 times more expensive, in constant costs, than all previous Summer Olympics combined, and it was 1.164 times more expensive in terms of constant costs per athlete-sport. When a Summer Olympics is more expensive on both parameters, I have used the note “>previous”.

It turns out that only 4 times a Summer Olympics has been more expensive on both parameters or “>previous” (it actually occurred 6 times for the Winter Olympics, despite less celebrations). This occurred at the following Summer Olympics:

1936 5.013 1.164 >previous
1960 1.972 1.189 >previous
1964 18.863 14.550 >previous
2008 1.788 1.393 >previous

And those four times occurred at Berlin in 1936, Rome in 1960, Tokyo in 1964, and Beijing in 2008. For Berlin, Tokyo, and Beijing, this is relatively easily explained. All three cities wanted to “show the world something.” Berlin and Hitler wanted to show the superiority of the German Reich. Tokyo wanted to show the world that it had recovered from the horrors of World War II and was now a modern superpower. Beijing wanted to demonstrate that it was now one of the world’s superpowers, and put on the biggest show ever. It did, especially when one considers that the usually quoted cost of the Opening Ceremony alone is $300 million, in 2008 dollars, which would actually be about $405 million in constant 2000 dollars. Nice party, but I can hold one like that, too, if you give me $405 million to do it with.

Rome at first site seems harder to explain but can be easily. Rome actually did not build as many stadia as some cities, holding some of the sports and events in ancient Roman stadia, such as wrestling, which was contested at the Basilius of Maxentius. And the Rome OCOG used several facilities in the Foro Mussolino, which had been constructed during the Fascist Era.

However, I refer you to, a blog article on Rome 1960 entitled, “Rome 1960: The Olympics as a Catalyst for Urban Change.” In this article, the author notes that Rome used the 1960 Olympics to effect major urban and infrastructural changes to their city, which involved designing a comprehensive system of transportation infrastructure throughout the city. For one of the first times the entire Olympic Village was constructed de novo and later converted to public housing. So when one considers that Rome re-did their city, making multiple desired infrastructural improvements, the extreme costs of the 1960 Olympics can be better understood. One can actually make a case that extreme Olympic inflation, with cities using the Olympics to improve their city and show it off to the world, began with Rome in 1960.

And this is one of the problems with this analysis. How much of the above quoted costs are for the operating costs of an Olympics, and how much are for infrastructural improvements to the host cities? Often, the host cities have wanted to make these changes for years but never had the money or the political capital to pull the trigger. But by subsuming the costs under the aegis of Olympic costs, they could get them done. Recent examples include the significant expansion and improvement of Hartsfield International Airport for the 1996 Atlanta Games, and the ring road around Athens and the subway from Athens to Piraeus, all built prior to the 2004 Olympics, but long desired by the Greek capital.

So its difficult, but one thing is obvious. Beijing was the most expensive Olympics ever in terms of constant dollars, but should not be considered the biggest spendthrift in terms of constant dollars analyzed against actual size of the Olympics. The all-time champion for that, Winter or Summer, is Tokyo in 1964, which was either 18 or 15 times more expensive than all previous Olympics, depending on how you analyze it. That is a record far surpassing the biggest such numbers for the Winter Olympics, which were for Grenoble in 1968, at about 7 times costs of previous Winter Games.

One other thing of interest to me was Barcelona in 1992, which also wanted to highlight its city, and did so beautifully, and is often considered one of the greatest of modern Olympics. But it did so relatively efficiently, costing slightly more than previous Olympics in constant dollars, but not more expensive than all previous when compared against the size of the Games.

The Spanish Royal Family and the Olympics

Earlier today King Juan Carlos I of Spain announced his intention to abdicate after 39 years as monarch. What is less known, at least outside Spain, is that Juan Carlos was once an Olympic yachtsman who sailed as part of a crew skippered by the Duke of Arión in the Dragon class at the Munich Games of 1972. Indeed there is a strong connection between Spanish royalty and the Olympic movement both as competitors and administrators that stretches back over a century.

Let’s take a look at the Spanish royals who have been linked to the Olympic Games in one form or another – using the King himself as a starting point

Juan Carlos, Crown Prince de Borbón (later King Juan Carlos I)

Year-Games Sport Event Place
1972-Summer Sailing Dragon class 15

Whilst his Olympic sailing career was not wildly successful it did qualify him for a unique place in history as the only Olympian to officially open the Olympic Games. An achievement which came to pass at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

His wife.
Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark (later Queen Sofía of Spain)
Queen Sofía went to the Rome Olympics of 1960 at the age of just 21 as part of her brother’s crew in the Dragon class. She was an unused reserve at the Games and could not share in their gold medal triumph.

Year-Games Sport Event Place
1960-Summer Sailing Dragon class DNS

His son.
Felipe, Crown Prince de Borbón, The Prince of Asturias (soon to be King Felipe)
The flag bearer for Spain at the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics and the most successful Spanish royal in terms of his results (although there is one more obscure better performance as we’ll find later).
Year-Games Sport Event Place
1992-Summer Sailing Soling class 6

His daughter.
Cristina, Princess de Borbón (later Duchess of Palma de Mallorca)
Her appearance at the 1988 Olympics was brief and rather uninspiring. Appearing only as a substitute in the last race of a 7 race series, her boat failed to finish. She was the Spanish flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
Year-Games Sport Event Place
1988-Summer Sailing Tornado class 20

His son-in-law
Iñaki Urdangarín (later Duke of Palma de Mallorca)
Whilst competing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where he helped Spain won a bronze in the sport of handball, he met Princess Cristina. Little over a year later the two were married. In recent years he has been dogged by allegations of corruption involving his business dealings.

Year-Games Sport Event Place
1992-Summer Handball Men 6
1996-Summer Handball Men Bronze
2000-Summer Handball Men Bronze

His brother-in-law
Crown Prince Konstantinos (later King Konstantínos II of Greece)
One of only 2 future kings to be Olympic champions (both in sailing), his reign was ended when Greece became a republic in 1973. He was an IOC member between 1963 and 1974.

Year-Games Sport Event Place
1960-Summer Sailing Dragon class Gold

His sister
Princess Pilar de Borbón, Duchess of Badajoz
Her links to the Olympic movement come as an administrator rather than a competitor.
She served as the President of the International Equestrian Federation from 1994 to 2005 and was a member of the IOC between 1996 and 2006.

Most distantly related, through Queen Sofía, are British royalty. Her cousin, Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the 1956 Olympics whilst his wife, Queen Elizabeth fulfilled the same role in 1976 and 2012. Their daughter and granddaughter, Princess Anne and Zara Phillips, are also Olympians.

Fernand Sanz
There is one further member of Spanish royalty whose existence may have been ignored forever had it not been for the work of Spanish Olympic historian Fernando Arrechea. King Juan Carlos’s great-grandfather was Alfonso XII who reigned from 1874 to 1885. As well as having three children with María Cristina of Austria, Alfonso also sired two sons with his mistress, the opera singer Elena Armanda Sanz Martínez de Arizala. The youngest of these sons was Fernand Sanz, who became one the finest amateur sprint cyclists in France and, at the age of 19, was only narrowly beaten to the gold medal by Albert Taillandier at the 1900 Olympic Games. He later went to find success as an amateur boxer as well.

Year-Games Sport Event Place
1900-Summer Cycling Sprint Silver

Divina Galica

Alpine skiier, Speed skiier, race car driver

Full name      Divina Mary Galica

Used name   Divina Galica

Born                 13 August 1944; Bushey Heath, Watford, Herts. (GBR)

Year-Games Sport Event Place
1964-Winter Alpine Skiing Downhill 30
Giant Slalom 23
Slalom AC
1968-Winter Alpine Skiing Downhill 32
Giant Slalom 8
Slalom AC
1972-Winter Alpine Skiing Downhill 26
Giant Slalom 7
Slalom 15
1992-Winter Speed Skiing Individual 19

Divina Galica is one of the all-time best British alpine skiers. Her best results occurred in the giant slalom, placing seventh and eighth at the Olympics, and 10th in the 1970 World Championships. Never scoring a World Cup win, Galica did twice reach the podium in a downhill World Cup. In the 1968 World Cup overall standings, she ranked 13th.

After being asked for a celebrity race in 1974, Galica started a career in automobile racing. In 1976, she entered the British Grand Prix, becoming only the third woman to attempt to compete in Formula One. Her appearance was also notable for driving a car with number 13, which was only available in the sport on special demand since the 1926 death of Giulio Masetti while racing with 13. Galica did not qualify for the race, nor did she on two subsequent attempts in 1978. She did continue to race in numerous classes until the late 1990s, and also returned to skiing.

At the 1992 Winter Olympics, Galica competed in the demonstration sport of speed skiing. The following year, she joined a select group of women to have broken the 200 km/h barrier, reaching 200.669 km/h.

Galice later switched her auto racing experience to Thundersports S2000 sports cars, and became an instructor with Skip Barber Racing Schools, and later a senior vice-president of Skip Barber Racing. In 2005 Galica left Skip Barber Racing to become a director of