Nadia Boudesoque

French Fashion Model, Fencer, Actress



Full Name,Albertina Charlotte “Nadia” Boudesoque Noblecourt de Haro Oliva

Used Name,Nadia Boudesoque

Other Name,Nadia Haro Oliva

Born,11 April 1918; Montcornet; Aisne (FRA)

Died,17 January 2014; Ciudad de México (MEX)




1948 Summer,Fencing,Individual Foil,6 Pool 2 Round 1/4

As a teenager Nadia Boudesoque became a model for a fashion house in Paris. She later met Mexican colonel Antonio Haro (Oliva), who was stationed in Paris, and they married, with Boudesoque returning to Mexico. She continued to fence for sport, but after the 1948 London Olympics, where she represented Mexico, Boudesoque became an actress. She acted under the name Nadia Haro Oliva, appearing in multiple films in Mexico in the 1950s and 60s, notably “Misterios de la magia negra” (1957) and “El ángel exterminador” (1962). In the 1970s and 80s she turned more to acting on stage and television. She and her husband also owned and operated the Teatro Arlequín. Nadia Haro Oliva retired from acting after suffering a fall in 2004.

Olympian Politicians – Legislators

Olympians are people who have achieved success in their sports at the highest level. Such success often translates to other fields, and it is no surprise that numerous Olympians have succeeded outside of sports. With the name recognition that comes from their sports prowess, it is also no surprise that many Olympians have moved into politics. Many of them have served in their national legislatures.

This is a fairly difficult list to track but following is what we consider a fairly complete list. But we’ll accept additions to this list from anybody who has further information.



David Anderson,CAN,ROW,1960,Member of the Canadian Parliament from 1968 through 1972 and again from 1993 through 2006 (Liberal)

Wendell Anderson,USA,ICH,1956,Member of US Senate; Minnesota 1976-78 (Democrat)

Nancy Arendt-Kemp,LUX,SWI/TRI,1988-00,Member of Luxembourgish D’Chamber from 23 January 1996 through 8 June 1999 and 3 June 2003 through 5 June 2004 and since 3 August 2004 (CSV)

Taro Aso,JPN,SHO,1976,Shugiin (House of Representatives) 1979-83; since 1986 Liberal Democratic Party

John Jacob Astor,GBR,RAQ,1908,Member of the UK House of Commons 1922-45. Member of the UK House of Lords 1956-71 (Conservative)

Mehmet Ali Aybar,TUR,ATH,1928,Member of Turkish Meclis from 1965 through 1973 (TİP)

Badmaanyambuugiin Bat-Erdene,Mgl MGL,JUD,1988-00,Member of Mongolian Ulsyn Ikh Khural since 2004 (MAN)

Philip Baker,GBR,ATH,1912-,Member of the UK House of Commons 1929-31 and 1936-70 (Labour)

Richard Barnett,GBR,SHO,1908,Member of the UK House of Commons 1916-29 (Conservative)

John Pius Boland,GBR,TEN,1896,Member of the UK House of Commons 1900-18 (Irish Parliamentary Party)

Valeriy Borzov,URS,ATH,1972-76,Member of Ukrainian Rada from 1998 through 2006 (Rukh; SDPU(o))

Robert Bourne,GBR,ROW,1912,Member of the UK House of Commons 1924-38 (Conservative)

James Bowman,CAN,CUR,1932,Member of Canadian House of Commons 1930 through 1935 (Conservative)

Svetlana Boyarkina-Zhurova,RUS,SSK,1994-06,Member of Russian Duma since 2007 (Edinaya Rossiya)

József Bozsik,HUN,FTB,1952,Member of Hungarian Országgyűlés from 1950 through 1953 (MDP)

Bill Bradley,USA,BAS,1964,Member of US Senate; New Jersey; 1979-97 (Democrat)

Adam Brodecki,POL,FSK,1972,Member of Polish Sejm from 1989 through 1991 (PZPR)

Sergey Bubka,URS/UKR/EUN,ATH,1988-00,Member of Ukrainian Rada from 2002 through 2006 (PR)

David; Lord Burghley,GBR,ATH,1924-32,Member of the UK House of Commons 1931–1943. Member of the UK House of Lords 1956-81 (Conservative)

William Burns,CAN,CUR,1932,Member of Canadian House of Commons 1930 through 1935 (Conservative)

David Butler,ZIM,SAI,1960-64,Member of Rhodesian Legislative Assembly from 1962 through 11 November 1965 (UFP and RP)

Ben Campbell,USA,JUD,1964,Member of US Senate; Colorado; 1993-05 (Democrat/Republican)

Menzies Campbell,GBR,ATH,1964,Member of the UK House of Commons 1983- (Liberal 1983-88; Liberal Democrat 1988- )

Chris Chataway,GBR,ATH,1952-56,Member of the UK House of Commons 1959-66 and 1969-74 (Conservative)

Seb Coe,GBR,ATH,1980-84,Member of the UK House of Commons 1992-97; Member of the UK House of Lords 2000- (Conservative)

Eamonn Coghlan,IRL,ATH,1976-88,Member of the Irish Senate since 2011 (Fine Gael)

Amedeo D’Albora,ITA,ART,1936,Member of Italian Senato from 25 May 1958 through 15 May 1963 (Gruppo Misto; MSI; PDI)

William; Lord Desborough,GBR,FEN,1906,Member of the UK House of Commons 1880-1882; 1885-1886; 1892-1893 and 1900-05 (Liberal 1880-1893 Conservative 1900-05). Member of the UK House of Lords 1905-45.

Heike Drechsler,GDR/GER,ATH,1988-00,Member of East-German Volkskammer from 1986 through 1990 (FDJ)

Guy Drut,FRA,ATH/IOC,1972-76 / 1996 – Present,Member of French Assemblée nationale; Seine-et-Marne; 16 March 1986 through 25 June 2007 (RPR; UMP)

Arsen Fadzayev,URS/EUNUZB,WRE,1988-96,Member of Russian Duma from 2003 through 2011 (SPS; Edinaya Rossiya)

Pedro Figari,URU,ART,1932,Member of Uruguayan Cámara de Representantes from 1897 through 1905 (?) (Partido Colorado)

Anatoly Firsov,URS,ICH,1964-72,Member of USSR Syezd narodnykh deputatov SSSR from 1989 through 1991

Robert Fournier-Sarlovèze,FRA,POL,1900,Member of French Assemblée nationale; Oise; from 24 April 1910 through 31 May 1914 (Républicain Progressiste); 16 November 1919 through 31 May 1932 (ERD/URD)

Ruth Fuchs,GDR,ATH,1972-80,Member of East-German Volkskammer from 18 March 1990 through 2 October 1990 (PDS). Member of German Bundestag from 3 October 1990 through 20 December 1990 and from 11 March 1992 through 2002 (PDS)

Eberhard Gienger,FRG,GYM,1972-76,Member of German Bundestag since 22 September 2002 (CDU)

Oliver St. John Gogarty,IRL,ART,1924,Member of Irish Seanad Éireann from 1922 through 1936 (Cumann na nGaedheal)

Nancy Greene,CAN,ASK,1960-68,Member of Canadian Senate; British Columbia; since 2 January 2009 (Conservative)

John Gretton Jr.,GBR,SAI,1900,Member of the UK House of Commons 1895-06; 1907-43. Member of the UK House of Lords 1944-47 (Conservative)

Kelpo Gröndahl,FIN,WRE,1948-52,Member of Finnish Eduskunta from 20 February 1962 through 22 March 1970 (SKDL)

Gunnar Gundersen,Nor NOR,SWI,1976,Member of Norwegian Storting since 2005 (Høyre)

Dezső Gyarmati,HUN,WAP,1948-64,Member of Hungarian Országgyűlés from 1990 through 1994 (MDF)

Han Pil-Hwa,PRK,SSK,1964-72,Member of North-Korean Choego Inmin Hoe-ui from 1998 through ?

John Harun,KEN,SHO,1968-72,Member of Kenyan National Assembly; Kilome; from 2007 through 4 March 2013 (PICK)

Hiroshi Hase,JPN,WRE,1984,Shugiin (House of Representatives) since 2000 Liberal Democratic Party

Seiko Hashimoto,JPN,CYC/SSK,1984-96,Member of Japanese Sangiin since 26 July 1995 (LDP)

Heikki Hasu,FIN,CCS/NCO,1948-52,Member of Finnish Eduskunta from 20 February 1962 through 4 April 1966 and 25 April 1967 through 22 March 1970 (Suomen Keskusta)

Terry Higgins,GBR,ATH,1952,Member of the UK House of Commons 1964-97 (Conservative)

Manabu Horii,JPN,SSK,1994-02,Member of Japanese Shugiin since 17 December 2012 (LDP)

Robert Jaworski,PHI,BAS,1968,Member of 11th and 12th Congress of the Philippines from 1998 through 2004 (Independent)

Alina Kabayeva,RUS,RGY,2000-04,Member of Russian Duma since 2007 (Edinaya Rossiya)

Kunishige Kamamoto,JPN,FTB,1964-68,Shugiin (House of Councillors) 1995-98 Liberal Democratic Party

Pantelis Karasevdas,GRE,SHO,1896,Member of Greek Vouli ton Ellinon from 1910 through ? (Komma Fileleutheron)

Aleksandr Karelin,RUS/URS/EUN,WRE,1988-00,Member of Russian Duma since 1999 (Edinaya Rossiya)

Wilfred Kent-Hughes,Aus AUS,ATH,1920,Member of Australian House of Representatives; Chisholm; from 10 December 1949 through 31 July 1970 (Liberal)

Leri Khabelovi,RUS/URS/EUN,WRE,1988-96,Member of Georgian Sakartvelos parlament’i since 2012 (K’art’uli ots’neba – demokratiuli Sak’art’velo)

Makharbek Khadartsev,RUS/URS/EUN/UZB,WRE,1988-00,Member of Russian Duma since 21 December 2011 (Edinaya Rossiya)

Svetlana Khorkina,RUS,GYM,1996-04,Member of Russian Duma from 2007 through 2011 (Edinaya Rossiya)

Serik Konakbayev,URS,BOX,1980,Member of Kazakh Majilis from 1999 through 2012

Grigorios Lambrakis,GRE,ATH,1936,Member of the Greek Vouli ton Ellinon 1961 through 27 May 1963 (EDA)

Victor de Laveleye,BEL,HOK/TEN,1920-28,Member of Belgian Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers from 1939 through 14 December 1945 (Liberale Partij)

Bob Mathias,USA,ATH,1948-52,Member of US House of Representatives; California; 1967-75 (Republican)

Marjo Matikainen,FIN,CCS,1984-88,Member of Finnish Eduskunta from 19 March 2003 through 27 March 2003 and since 21 July 2004 (Kansallinen Kokoomus). Member of European Parliament from 11 November 1996 through 19 July 2004 (Kansallinen Kokoomus / ED)

Tom McMillen,USA,BAS,1972,Member of US House of Representatives; Maryland; 1987-93 (Democrat)

Pietro Mennea,ITA,ATH,1972-88,Member of European Parliament from 1999 through 2004 (I Democratic / ELDR)

Daniel Mérillon,FRA,GYM/SHO,1900-12,Member of French Assemblée nationale; Gironde; from 18 October 1885 through 11 November 1889 (Union républicaine)

Ralph Metcalfe,USA,ATH,1932-36,Member of US House of Representatives; Illinois; 1971-78 (Democrat)

Juha Mieto,FIN,CCS,1972-84,Member of Finnish Eduskunta from 21 March 2007 through 19 April 2011 (Suomen Keskusta)

Colin Lord Moynihan,GBR,ROW,1980-84,Member of the UK House of Commons 1983-92; Member of the UK House of Lords 1997- (Conservative)

Kenji Ogiwara,JPN,NCO,1992-02,Member of Japanese Sangiin from 26 July 2004 through 25 July 2010 (LDP)

Katsuo Okazaki,JPN,ATH,1924,Shugiin (House of Representatives) 1949-58 Liberal Democratic Party

Kiyoko Ono,JPN,GYM,1960-64,Shugiin (House of Councillors) 1986-98; 2001-07 Liberal Democratic Party

Rudolph Baron van Pallandt,Ned NED,SHO,1908,Member of Dutch Eerste Kamer from 20 September 1910 through 15 March 1913 (death) (CHU)

Vladimir Parfenovich,URS,CAN,1980,Member of Belarussian Palata Pradstawnikow from 2000 through ?

Zbigniew Pietrzykowski,POL,BOX,1956-64,Member of Polish Sejm from 14 October 1993 through 10 October 1997 (BdP)

Hugh Plaxton,CAN,ICH,1928,Member of Canadian House of Commons 14 October 1935 through 1940 (Liberal)

Pavel Ploc,TCH,SKJ,1984-88,Member of Czech Poslanecká sněmovna since 3 June 2006 (CSSD)

Payao Poontarat,THA,BOX,1976,Member of Thai from 2001 through his death (?) (Phak Prachathipat)

Rolf Rämgård,SWE,CCS,1960,Member of the Swedish Riksdag 1974 through 1985 (Centerpartiet)

Jozef Regec,TCH,CYC,1988,Member of Czech Senát since 23 October 2010 (CSSD; SPOZ)

Philip Richardson,GBR,SHO,1908-12,Member of the UK House of Commons 1922–1931 (Conservative)

Roman Rurua,URS,WRE,1964-68,Member of Georgian Sakartvelos parlament’i from 1999 though 2003 (Sportuli Sakartvelo)

Jim Ryun,USA,ATH,1964-72,Member of US House of Representatives; Kansas; 1996-07 (Republican)

Yasutaro Sakagami,JPN,WAP,1932-36,Shugiin (House of Representatives) 1958-76 Socialist Party

Viktor Savchenko,URS,BOX,1976-80,Member of Ukrainian Rada from 7 August 1994 through 12 May 1998 (Independent)

Friedel Schirmer,GER,ATH,1952,Member of German Bundestag from 28 September 1969 through 5 March 1983 (SPD)

Ilona Schoknecht-Slupianek,GDR,ATH,1976-80,Member of East German Volkskammer from 1976 through 1986 (FDJ)

Gustav-Adolf Schur,GER,CYC,1956-60,Member of East German Volkskammer 1958 through 1990 (FDJ; SED; PDS). Member of German Bundestag from 1998 through 2002 (PDS).

James Sharpe,AHO,ATH,1992,Member of Dutch Tweede Kamer 17 June 2010 through 19 November 2010 (PVV)

Jyotirmoyee Sikdar,IND,ATH,1996,Member of Indian Lok Sabha; Krishnanagar; from 2003 through 2009 (CPI(M))

Karni Singh,IND,SHO,1960-80,Member of Indian Lok Sabha; Bikaner; from 1952 through 1977 (Independent)

Jiří Šlégr,CZE/TCH,ICH,1992-98,Member of Czech Poslanecká sněmovna since 29 May 2010 through 14 June 2013 (CSSD; LEV 21)

Peter Šťastný,TCH/SVK,ICH,1980-94,Member of European Parliament since 2004 (SDKÚ-DS / EPP)

Marcus Stephen,NRU/SAM,WLT,1992-00,Member of Parliament of Nauru since 3 May 2003 (Independent)

Mieke Sterk,NED,ATH,1968,Member of Dutch Tweede Kamer 30 August 1994 through 19 May 1998 (PvdA)

Joe Sullivan,CAN,ICH,1928,Member of Canadian Senate; Ontario; from 12 October 1957 through 18 February 1985 (Progressive Conservative)

Jaan Talts,URS,WLT,1968-72,Member of Estonian Riigikogu from 11 March 1995 through 17 April 1995 and 6 November 1995 through 1 December 1996 (Eesti Reformierakond)

Jüri Tamm,EST/URS,ATH,1980-96,Member of Estonian Riigikogu 1999 through 2003 (Mõõdukad)

Harald Tammer,EST,ATH/WLT,1920-24,Member of the Estonian Rahvuskogu from 1937 through 1940

Ryoko Tamura-Tani,JPN,JUD,1992-08,Shugiin (House of Councillors) since 2013 Liberal Democratic Party

Masami Tanabu,JPN,ICH,1960-64,Shugiin (House of Representatives) 1979-96 various parties

Erica Terpstra,NED,SWI,1960-64,Member of Dutch Tweede Kamer 8 June 1977 through 22 August 1994 and 19 May 1998 through 15 December 2003 (both VVD)

Arto Tiainen,FIN,CCS,1956-68,Member of Finnish Eduskunta from 22 January 1970 through 22 March 1970 (SDP)

Daulet Turlykhanov,KAZ/URS/EUN,WRE,1988-96,Member of Kazakh Majilis from 1995 through 2004

Cenaida Uribe,Per PER,VOL,1988,Member of Peruvian Congreso de la República since 2006 (Partido Nacionalista Peruano)

Lasse Virén,FIN,ATH,1972-80,Member of Finnish Eduskunta from 24 March 1993 through 20 March 2007 and 19 October 2010 through 19 April 2011 (Kansallinen Kokoomus)

Ingrid Wendl,AUT,FSK,1956,Member of Austrian Nationalrat from 20 December 2002 through 29 October 2006 (ÖVP)

Ulla Werbrouck,BEL,JUD,1992-00,Member of Belgian Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers from 2007 through 2 July 2009 (LDD)

Jack Lord Wodehouse,GBR,POL,1908-,Member of the UK House of Commons 1906-10. Member of the UK House of Lords 1932-41 (Liberal)


James Snook

Olympic shooter, gold medalist, veterinarian, murderer

Full name       James Howard Snook

Used name    James Snook

Born                   17 September 1879; South Lebanon, Ohio (USA)

Died                   28 February 1930; Columbus, Ohio (USA)



1920-Summer,Shooting,Rapid-Fire Pistol Team,1,Gold

,,Free Pistol 50 m Team,1,Gold


James Snook, twice a shooting gold medalist at the 1920 Olympics, made national headlines in 1929 and 1930, but not for anything to do with his shooting ability. Snook was a 1908 graduate of the Ohio State Veterinary School and in 1920 was a professor of veterinary medicine at Ohio State. In June 1929 he was practicing at the Ohio State rifle range when he was arrested and accused of the murder of Theora K. Hix, a medical student at Ohio State.


It turned out that Snook and Hix had posed as man and wife for three years, sharing an apartment near the school’s campus. On 13 June 1929, Snook claimed that Hix asked him to divorce his wife and marry her, threatening to kill his wife and child if she was refused. Snook confessed to then beating Hix several times with a hammer before severing her jugular vein with a pocket-knife to “relieve her suffering.” On 14 August 1929 a jury deliberated only 28 minutes before finding Snook guilty of first degree murder. A week later he was sentenced to be put to death, and at 7:10 p.m. on 28 February 1930, he died in the electric chair at the Ohio State Penitentiary.

Olympian Heads of State

Which Olympians have been heads of state – such as a President, Prime Minister, or King or Queen? We know of this happening 8 times, as follows:



Taro Aso,JPN,SHO,1976,Prime Minister of Japan 2008-09.

Juan Carlos Crown Prince de Borbón,ESP,SAI,1972,King of Spain 1975-present.

Albert Prince Grimaldi,MON,BOB,1988-2002,Prince of Monaco 2005-present.

Crown Prince Harald,NOR,SAI,1964-72,King of Norway 1991-present.

Crown Prince Konstantinos,GRE,SAI,1960,King of Greece 1964-73.

Crown Prince Olav,NOR,SAI,1928,King of Norway 1957-91.

Pál Schmitt,HUN,FEN,1968-76,President of Hungary 2010-12.

Marcus Stephen,NRU/SAM,WLT,1992-2000,President of Nauru 2007-11.


See also

Olympic Medals Won by Nations – A Deeper Analysis

Recently I posted about the United States’ dominance of the all-time Olympic medal lists (hey, I’m a Merkan – give me a break). But there are some things that can be analyzed a bit more closely.

Firstly, the United States is the world’s 3rd most populous country, after China and India. It would stand to reason that a country with more people would have a larger pool from which to draw great athletes. The US is also the world’s 3rd (or possibly 4th) largest country, after Russia and Canada, although not certain if that has any effect. (China and the United States are almost the exact same size and sometimes China is listed the 3rd largest nation.)

Secondly, the United States is a wealthy country, with the world’s largest gross domestic product (GDP). Again, a country with great wealth has several advantages in terms of producing great athletes and Olympic medalists. Not only is there more money to support the athletes, theoretically, but people from wealthy nations typically have more leisure time allowing them to train more for sports.

So let’s look at the Olympic medal lists in a couple different ways. Remember that North America and Europe/International analyze medal lists differently – in North America the nations are ranked by 1) medals, 2) gold, 3) silver, and 4) bronze; while in Europe they are ranked by 1) gold, 2) silver, and 3) bronze. So we’ll compare lists both by total medals won and gold medals won (we can’t use silver and bronze well in the analysis that will follow).

Second, a caveat is in order. We are going to eliminate any nations that no longer exists – you’ll see why soon.

We will then look at medals won in terms of 1) medals won per capita, or divided by the nation’s population, to eliminate the advantage gained by larger nations; 2) medals won per GDP, to eliminate the advantage gained by wealthier nations; and 3) medals won per GDP per capita, which is probably a better way to measure a nation’s wealth.

Here is the basic top 25 medal list, uncorrected, with ranks on the left both in US system and the European system:



1,1,United States,1083,863,760,2706

2,2,Soviet Union,473,376,355,1204


4,4,Great Britain,254,288,287,829






10,9,German Demo. Rep.,192,165,162,519







17,17,The Netherlands,115,125,140,380




21,18,Korea (South),107,99,90,296


23,24,Fed. Rep. of Germany,67,82,94,243




This is as we noted, with the USA on top, in both systems. We will eliminate the Soviet Union, Federal Republic of Germany (West), German Democratic Republic (East), and other non-extant nations, such as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The reason now becomes more obvious – we are using current figures for population (2014) and gross domestic product (2013), and those figures don’t exist any more for those nations, and there is no good way to extrapolate to them. Here are the population, GDP, and GDP per capita figures (Source: US CIA Factbook) for the top 25 nations on the “raw” medal list:


NOC,Population,GDP,GDP PC,Status

United States,318892103,$16720000,$52800,

Soviet Union,,,,NLE


Great Britain,63742977,$2490000,$37300,






German Democratic Republic,,,,NLE







The Netherlands,16877351,$800500,$41400,




Korea (South),49039986,$1198000,$33200,


Federal Republic of Germany,,,,NLE




NLE=No Longer Exists

Here is what happens if we look at medals and gold medals per million population:










8,The Bahamas,12,37.286




12,New Zealand,101,22.945


14,The Netherlands,380,22.515





19,Trinidad & Tobago,18,14.707




23,Great Britain,829,13.005











6,The Bahamas,5,15.536




10,New Zealand,42,9.541




14,The Netherlands,115,6.814





19,Great Britain,254,3.985








One thing of note above – the top nations are predominately winter sports nations. Liechtenstein, in particular, owes all of its medals to two winter sports families – the Wenzels and the Frommelts. Also, if you look at the two lists above, they are quite similar when using both ranking systems.

Now let’s look at how the nations do if we compare medals won per GDP, in million $:












10,Korea DPR (North),49,1750.000




14,The Bahamas,12,1433.178




















6,The Bahamas,5,597.158




10,Korea DPR (North),14,500.000










20,New Zealand,42,231.916


22,The Ukraine,35,199.430





Again, the lists are similar, although Jamaica leads in terms of medals won per capita while Hungary leads in terms of gold medals won per capita. But Jamaica, Bulgaria, Cuba, and Hungary are in the top 5 on both systems.

Finally, looking at the medal lists in terms of GDP per $1,000 per capita:




2,United States,2706,51.250




6,Korea DPR (North),49,27.222






12,Great Britain,829,22.225


14,The Ukraine,122,16.486









23,The Netherlands,380,9.179


25,Korea (South),296,8.916





2,United States,1083,20.511






8,Korea DPR (North),14,7.778




12,Great Britain,254,6.810




16,The Ukraine,35,4.730






22,Korea (South),107,3.223



25,The Netherlands,115,2.778


Again, many of the “standard” powerful Olympic nations come out on top by this analysis – with China 1st and the United States 2nd. The main reason for this is that while population and GDP differ by several magnitudes among nations, there is not the same magnitude of difference in terms of GDP per capita, which varies from $102,100 per person for Qatar, down to about $1,000 for the very poor nations. But many of those nations have never won an Olympic medal.

The Oldest Olympians

(Note: The below is from Paul Tchir, aka Canadian Paul, one of our group of OlyMADMen. Paul’s specialty is looking at the oldest Olympians, by sport, by medals, by nation, and almost every permutation thereof, and he is absolutely the world’s expert on this topic. You can find his specific page related to this at

The recent death of American sport shooter Walter Walsh, the longest-lived Olympian, meant that the mantle of “oldest living Olympian” passed to a new title-holder. This distinction went, almost certainly, to Swiss artist Hans Erni, who competed in the art competitions at the 1948 Summer Olympics. Born on 21 February 1909 in Lucrene, Erni achieved international fame as a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and ceramist and is, as of 9 July 2014, the third longest-lived Olympian of all time, behind Walsh (who was less than a week shy of his 107th birthday at his death) and American gymnast Rudolf Schrader, the latter of whom competed at the 1904 Summer Olympics and died in January 1981 at the age of 105 years, 307 days. Although there are a handful of Olympians older than Erni whose death has not been confirmed, it seems unlikely that someone would have reached 105 years of age in the era of the internet and escaped any notice whatsoever.

As art competitions were removed from the program after 1948, however, this answer may not satisfy everyone. The oldest Olympian from an athletic competition known to be living is Guo Jie of China, who took part in the men’s discus throw at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Guo, born 16 January 1912 in Dalian, is his nation’s longest-lived competitor, the last member of its delegation to the 1936 Games, and was still physically active at his 102nd birthday. He is one of seven Olympic centenarians known to be living, a list that includes:

  • Swedish diver Ingeborg Sjöqvist, born 19 April 1912, who took part in the 1932 and 1936 Summer Olympics and was runner-up in platform diving at the 1931 and 1934 European Championships.
  • American athlete Simone Schaller, born 22 August 1912, who participated in the 80 m hurdles tournament in 1932 and 1936 and is the longest-lived American female Olympian.
  • Baron Eduard von Falz-Fein, born 14 September 1912, who represented Liechtenstein in bobsled at the 1936 Winter Olympics and is second behind Norway’s Hans Kleppen, who died in April 2009 at the age of 102 years, 27 days, among the longest-lived Winter Olympians.
  • Sándor Tarics, born 23 September 1913, who was a member of Hungary’s gold medal-winning water polo team in 1936 and is confirmed as the oldest living Olympic champion (the longest-lived Olympic champion is James Stillman Rockefeller, who died in August 2004 at the age of 102 years, 63 days).
  • Evelyn Furtsch, born 17 April 1914, who earned a gold medal with the United States’ 4x100m relay team in 1932 and, earlier this year, surpassed Britain’s Godfrey Rampling as the longest-lived Olympic track and field gold medalist.

Three more Olympians will hopefully join them by the end of 2014: Olga Tőrös (born 4 August 1914), who won a bronze medal for Hungary in women’s team gymnastics in 1936, American John Lysak (born 16 August 1914), who competed in canoeing that same year, and Helen Johns (born 25 September 1914), who won a gold medal with the American team in the 4×100 m freestyle swimming event in 1932. Also worthy of mention is athlete Mien Klaver, born 26 February 1911, who was an alternate for the Dutch team in Furtsch’s event.

Outside of centenarians, Carla Marangoni (born 13 November 1915) is notable as the last known survivor of the 1928 Summer Olympics: she won a silver medal for Italy in the team gymnastics competition that year. Moreover, due to the increased attention that they receive, it is also possible to produce a definitive list of the seven oldest Olympic champions:



Sándor Tarics,23 September 1913, M, HUN, WAP, 1936

Evelyn Furtsch,17 April 1914, F, USA, ATH, 1932

Helen Johns,25  September 1914, F, USA, SWI, 1932

Durward Knowles,2 November 1917, M, BAH, SAI, 1964

Martin Lundström,30  May 1918, M, SWE, CCS, 1948

Adolph Kiefer,27 June 1918, M, USA, SWI, 1936

Jack Günthard,8 January 1920, M, SUI, GYM, 1952



  • Durward Knowles also won bronze in 1956 and competed in 1948, 1952, 1960, 1968, 1972, and 1988. He originally competed for GBR in 1948.
  • Martin Lundström won two golds in 1948 and also bronze in 1952.
  • Jack Günthard also won a silver in 1952.

(Note: This is a difficult topic because it is always hard to know if somebody is definitely alive. If any astute readers have information on Olympians over 90 years old, or older Olympians who have recently died, please contact us via this blog.)

Olympic Cyclists and the Tour de France

Olympic cycling is popular but the greatest race in cycling is considered to be the Tour de France, held every July over 3 weeks, and being held at the moment. A number of top cyclists competed in both the Olympics and Tour de France in the amateur era (1896-1992), and now that professional cyclists are allowed in the Olympics, many of them also compete in the Tour.

Until 1996, among the top professional cyclists who have starred in the Tour de France, only a few had Olympic experience.  Three-time winner Philippe Thys (BEL-1913/14/20) never competed in the Olympics, nor did Fausto Coppi (ITA-1949/52), Louison Bobet (FRA-1953/54/55), nor Bernard Hinault (FRA-1978/79/81/82/85).

The first Olympic medalist to win the Tour was Octave Lapize, who won a bronze medal in the 1908 Olympics 100 km race, and then won the 1910 Tour. Lapize is best known from comments he made in the 1910 Tour. While ascending the Col du Tourmalet, one of the first epic climbs included in the race, he shouted at race organizers, “Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins!” That stage was over 300 km with 7 difficult climbs, all raced in a single fixed-gear. Lapize was later killed in World War I.

Eddy Merckx (BEL-1969/70/71/72/74), usually considered the greatest cyclist ever, did compete in the 1964 Olympics in the individual road race, finishing 12th, which was won by Italian Mario Zanin. His son, Axel, later competed in the 2000 and 2004 road race, winning an Olympic bronze medal in 2004, but he never featured at the Tour.

Jacques Anquetil (FRA-1957/61/62/63/64), whose record of five wins was later equalled by Merckx, Hinault, and Miguel Induráin (and initially bettered by Lance Armstrong), competed in the 1952 Olympic individual road race, oddly also finishing 12th.  But Anquetil did win an Olympic medal, having been a member of the French team in the road race, which finished third in the overall team event.

The first Olympic gold medalist to have also won the Tour de France is Joop Zoetemelk (NED).  Zoetemelk won his gold medal in the 1968 104 kilometre team time trial as a member of the Dutch team.  At 34 years of age, he won his Tour de France in 1980 and, amazingly, in 1985, aged 39 years, he won the world professional road race championship, the oldest ever to achieve that feat.

The feat of winning the Olympic individual road race and the world professional road race was first achieved by Hennie Kuiper (NED), who won his Olympic gold in 1972 and took the world professional title in 1975.  Kuiper also finished second in the Tour de France twice. This was later done by Italian Paolo Bettini, who won gold in the 2004 Olympic road race and won the World Road Race Championship in 2006-07.

Greg LeMond (USA-1986/89/90), the first American to win the Tour de France and the world professional road race championship (1983/89), qualified for the United States Olympic team in 1980, but as a member of that ill-fated 1980 team, did not compete in the Olympics. Based on his performance at the 1979 World Amateur Championships, winning 3 medals, including the U23 road race gold medal, he was expected to be co-favorite in the road race with Soviet rider Sergey Sukhoruchenkov, but in LeMond’s absence, Sukhoruchenkov won the gold medal.

The following Olympic cycling medalists also won the Tour de France:


Athlete,NOC,Olympic Medals,TdF Title(s)

Jacques Anquetil,FRA,1952 Team RR (B),1957/1961-64.

Lance Armstrong,USA,2000 ITT (B) (removed),1999-05 (removed)

Chris Froome,GBR,2012 ITT (B),2013

Miguel Induráin,ESP,1996 ITT (G),1991-95

Octave Lapize,FRA,1908 100 km (B),1910

Jan Ullrich,GER,2000 ITT (G)/IndRR (S),1997

Bradley Wiggins,GBR,2000-12 – 7 medals (4/1/2),2012

Joop Zoetemelk,NED,1968 TTT (G),1980


USA Dominance at the Olympics

The United States’ first government came into being 240 years ago – in September 1774, with the formation of the 1st Continental Congress. But Americans celebrate the nations’ birthday on July 4th, the day chosen to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, although it is well known that the signing actually occurred on July 2, 1776. Nonetheless this is what we consider the United States’ birthday – so Happy Birthday, USA. (Yes, I am a USA-ian, and I approved this post)

The United States has also competed at every Olympic Games except for, sadly, the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. During that time, the USA has dominated the medal lists and the medal standings more than any other nation, mainly at the Summer Olympics. There have been pretenders to attempt to usurp that dominance – the USSR from 1952-88, the GDR from 1972-88, and now China threatens to lead the medal standings. But overall, from 1896-2014, Summer alone, Summer and Winter, men, women, it matters not. The USA has been the dominant nation at the Olympic Games in terms of medals won.

Here are the top 5 nations in terms of all medals won, actually listing 6 nations, because North American and Europe tend to count the medal lists differently, and there is a discrepancy, even at the top of the lists (USA uses totals, gold, silver, bronze for the rankings; Europe / International uses gold, silver, bronze for the rankings) (Note: these numbers are all per the IOC standards, meaning they do not include the 1906 Olympics):



1,1,United States,1071,857,754,2682

2,2,Soviet Union,473,376,355,1204


4,4,Great Britain,246,277,282,805




So skipping the Soviet Union, which no longer exists, the USA has won more gold medals than the next 4 best nations that are still extant, and more medals than the next 3 best nations, however you rank them.

Just looking at the Summer Olympics, that dominance becomes even more impressive.



1,1,United States,975,754,669,2398

2,2,Soviet Union,395,319,296,1010

3,3,Great Britain,235,271,266,772





Again, skipping the USSR, the United States has won more gold medals than the next best 4 nations, and more medals than the next best 3 nations. Including the Soviet Union, the USA has won more gold medals and medals than the next best 3 nations at the Summer Olympics.

If we try to split this up by gender, the dominance remains. Here are the lists for men, women, and mixed medals:




1,1,United States,761,591,520,1872

2,2,Soviet Union,323,259,228,810


4,4,Great Britain,172,193,194,559







1,1,United States,277,222,202,701

2,2,Soviet Union,122,96,113,331



5,4,German DR,94,84,63,241






1,1,United States,33,44,32,109

2,2,Great Britain,31,27,24,82



5,4,Soviet Union,28,21,14,63


The male dominance for the USA is as complete, with more gold medals than the next 4 remaining nations, and more medals than the 3 next nations still extant. The female dominance is less so, as the Soviet Union and German Democratic Republic (GDR – East Germany) emphasized women’s medals during their existence. And it is even less dramatic for mixed events, where it is approached by several other nations, but the USA still leads the mixed medal lists, both in terms of medals won and gold medals won.

Now at the Winter Olympics, the USA is not #1, that honor still going to Norway, with the United States 2nd, Germany 3rd, and Austria 4th. But if we look only at the Summer Olympics, here is how the medal standings have ended up at each Games:




1896,United States,11,7,2,20,2,1


1904,United States,78,79,82,239,1,1


1908,Great Britain,55,49,34,138,1,1


1912,United States,25,18,20,63,2,1

1920,United States,41,26,26,93,1,1

1924,United States,45,27,27,99,1,1

1928,United States,22,18,16,56,1,1

1932,United States,40,33,30,103,1,1


1948,United States,38,27,19,84,1,1

1952,United States,40,19,17,76,1,1

1956,Soviet Union,37,29,32,98,1,1

1960,Soviet Union,43,29,31,103,1,1

1964,Soviet Union,30,31,35,96,1,2

1964,United States,36,26,28,90,2,1

1968,United States,45,28,34,107,1,1

1972,Soviet Union,50,27,22,99,1,1

1976,Soviet Union,49,41,35,125,1,1

1980,Soviet Union,80,69,46,195,1,1

1984,United States,83,61,30,174,1,1

1988,Soviet Union,55,31,46,132,1,1

1992,Unified Team,45,38,29,112,1,1

1996,United States,44,32,25,101,1,1

2000,United States,37,24,32,93,1,1

2004,United States,36,41,26,101,1,1

2008,United States,36,38,36,110,1,2


2012,United States,46,29,29,104,1,1


So of the above 32 leaders (by either system), the USA has been the leading nation at the Summer Olympics 17 times, or more than all other nations combined. However, if one looks at 1956-88, you can see that the Soviet Union was quite dominant in that era. What if they had competed before 1952 or since 1988?

One can argue that Russia, China, and Germany have not existed for as long as the United States, in Olympic terms. So let’s compare numbers against Pan-Soviet (USSR 1952-88 and all former Soviet republics prior to 1952 and since 1992) and Pan-Germania (Germany, East and West Germany) (Note: The Saar also competed in 1952 but did not win any medals.). We really can’t do the same for China. And this tabulation will give an advantage to Pan-Soviet counts, because since 1992 they can have far more than 3 competitors, or 1 team, in an event. The same was true for East and West Germany from 1968-88.

Here are the numbers for all Olympic medals:



United States,1071,857,754,2682


Soviet Union,473,376,355,1204


Unified Team,54,44,37,135

















German Demo. Rep.,192,165,162,519

Fed. Rep. Germany,67,82,94,243



So even with the advantage Pan-Soviet and Pan-Germania get from extra competitors and teams, the USA still leads the medal lists comfortably. Of course, Pan-Soviet had only a few competitors from 1912-36 – Russia in 1912 and the Baltics from 1924-36 – but given how much fewer events there were in that era, the USA would still lead the lists.

Happy Birthday, America. We have a national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, which I’ve considered like our alma mater, but I much prefer what could be considered similar to our college fight song – The Stars and Stripes Forever (officially the USA National March since 1987). Here’s one of my favorite versions of it:

Lou Zamperini

Olympic distance runner, War hero, Prison camp survivor, Legend



Full Name,Louis Silvie “Lou” Zamperini

Used Name,Lou Zamperini

Born,26 January 1917; Olean New York (USA)

Died,2 July 2014

Measurements,180 cm / 60 kg


Games Sport Event Status Team Pos Details
1936 (summer) Athletics 5,000 metres Olympic 8

Lou Zamperini was a high school star distance runner in Southern California in the 1930s, and competed in the 1936 Olympics shortly after graduating from high school. He was a solid distance runner, winning a state high school championship and attending Southern Cal on a track scholarship, but his life after athletics is far more interesting.

Lou Zamperini2

Zamperini enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1941, and was deployed to Hawaii as a bombardier. On 27 May 1943, his aircraft went down due to mechanical problems. Only Zamperini and the pilot, Russ Philips, survived. At home, all crew members were presumed dead, and Zamperini’s obituary appeared in US newspapers. However, Zamperini and his two crewmen managed to get out of the wreck of their B-24 and climbed into lifeboats. After 47 days, eating sharks and albatrosses, they were rescued by a Japanese fisherman near the Marshall Islands. By that time, one of them had died.

They were arrested when brought to shore, and were moved from island to island, eventually landing in a prisoner-of-war camp in Japan in September 1943. For two years, Zamperini barely survived the reign of terror of Matsuhiro “The Bird” Watanabe, one of the most notorious Japanese guards during World War II. When released in 1945, he met a New York Times reporter. Telling him his name, the reporter failed to believe Zamperini, as he had read about his death. Zamperini managed to convince him with a university card, one of the few possessions he had after two years of imprisonment. The remarkable story made headlines at home, where he received a hero’s welcome.

After the war, Zamperini began a new career as a Christian motivational speaker. One of his favorite themes is “forgiveness”, and he has spoken several times in Japan to former war criminals, several of whom had tortured him as a prisoner-of-war. Zamperini was given the honour of carrying the Olympic Flame three times: in 1984, 1996 and 1998. At the latter occasion, the Nagano Winter Olympics, he returned to Japan for the first time since 1945. Briefly before the Olympics, it was discovered that Watanabe was still alive as well, but a meeting with him was blocked by the Watanabe family. Zamperini wrote (with David Rensin) a book about his life and experiences, entitled Devil at My Heels. In 2010, well-known author Laura Hillebrand wrote his biography, Unbroken, in far more detail. A movie based on the Hillebrand book is in the works, being directed by Angelina Jolie.

Personal Bests: 880y – 1:53.2 (1938); 1500 – 3:52.6 (1939); Mile – 4:08.3 (1938); 2 miles – 9:12.8 (1939); 5000 – 14:46.8 (1936).

Richard Schoemaker

Fencer, Soldier, Resistance fighter, Martyr, Sachsenhausen



Full Name,Richard Leonard Arnold Schoemaker

Used Name,Richard Schoemaker

Born,5 October 1886; Roermond (NED)

Died,3 May 1942; Sachsenhausen; Oranienburg; Brandenburg (GER)




1908 Summer,Fencing,Individual Sabre, =3 Pool 1 Round 2/4


Richard Schoemaker studied at the Royal Netherlands Military Academy, beginning there as a cadet in 1905. In the year he graduated he competed at the Olympic Games in London. Schoemaker then left for the Dutch East Indies as a second lieutenant, being promoted to captain 1915. He left the Army just after World War I, and became a professor of constructional engineering at the Technical Academy in Bandoeng, before returning to the Netherlands where he served as a professor of architecture on the faculty of bouwkunde (architecture/structural engineering) at the Technical University in Delft. He continued as a reserve major in the Army and over the next 20 years helped design and construct several Army barracks. Schoemaker’s brother, Wolff, was a noted Dutch architect often called the Frank Lloyd Wright of Indonesia.
At the start of World War II Schoemaker was called to serve with the Technical Corps of Engineering but was not involved in combat. After the Dutch Army surrendered to the Germans he joined the Dutch Underground, later becoming part of the Ordedienst (OD), a fusion of several underground groups. On 2 May 1941 Schoemaker was arrested after being found to be a member of the OD. He and several other OD members were kept in the state prison in Scheveningen, later called the Oranjehotel. In March-April 1942 Schoemaker and many of his compatriots were tried in Amersfoort, and all were found guilty, with the sentence being death.

On 1 May 1942 the convicted OD members, among whom was included Pierre Versteegh, a Dutch equestrian Olympian, were taken by train to Oranienburg, near Berlin, and then transported by truck to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. On 3 May 1942 all of the convicts were executed by firing squad, in groups of 12 each. Richard Schoemaker was among them. On 3 May 1946 a monument was erected in the Netherlands in the group’s honor. Schoemaker posthumously was given the Resistance Cross for his efforts.