1930 Olympic Missing Links

It is the start of a new year and, for us here at Oldest Olympians, time to examine the subject of 1930 missing links, which looks at cases for whom we believed to have identified their date of death but, for whatever reason, we were unable to connect the information, such as obituary or public record, conclusively to the athlete. These cases in particular examine those who were born in 1930 and who would otherwise be the newest possibilities for our list of oldest living Olympians. We have a significant number of these individuals this year, and thus we will be splitting this topic across several blog entries over the next few weeks.

(Marcel Troupel, pictured at a 2014 ceremony at the Société des Régates d’Antibes)

Marcel Troupel – Member of France’s sailing delegation to the 1972 Munich Olympics

Marcel Troupel, born May 6, 1930, represented France in the Tempest class sailing tournament at the 1972 Munich Games, where he and his partner Yves Devillers, 18 years his junior, placed ninth in a field of 21 teams, having won the first race, but falling further behind as the competition progressed. While sometimes knowledge about Olympic sailors can be obscure, Troupel distinguished himself as a World Champion by winning the 505 class in 1968 alongside the non-Olympian Philippe Lanaverre. He was honored for this feat (among others) in 2014, so we know that he was still alive at this point, but the only trace we have been able to locate since then is a handful of obituaries for a man with the same name from October 2019. We suspect that this is the Olympian, given the uncommonness of his name, but without an age, let alone mention of his sailing career, we are unable to confirm this fact.

Hugo Vonlanthen – Member of Switzerland’s field hockey squad at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics

Hugo Vonlanthen, born June 12, 1930, represented Switzerland in the field hockey tournament at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where the nation lost its round one match against Austria, but defeated France in the consolation round to place ninth overall. Like many field hockey players, this is the extent of what we know about him, although we did locate an obituary for someone with his uncommon name who died April 28, 2009. While the age of this individual was one year off, an archival website notes that person who died on that date was born in 1930. Unfortunately, neither source gives a full date of birth or any indication that he was the field hockey player, and thus he remains for now a missing link.

William Fajardo – Member of Mexico’s fencing delegation to the 1960 and 1968 Summer Olympics

William Fajardo, born October 15, 1930, was a member of two Mexican Olympic fencing delegations. In 1960 in Rome he took part in the individual foil and sabre, but was eliminated in the first round of both competitions. In 1968 in Mexico City, he had the same result in the individual and team sabre tournaments. He fared much better, however, at the Central American and Caribbean Games: in 1954 he took silver in the team foil and bronze in the team sabre, while in 1959 he earned bronze in both of those events, adding a fourth bronze in the team foil in 1962. He was also sixth at the 1959 Pan American Games in individual foil. Despite these accomplishments, the only hint to his later life that we were able to uncover was the record of a William Ruy Fajardo Perez who died June 14, 2002, at the age of 71 (the correct age for the fencer) in Cuauhtémoc. Without further confirmation, however, we cannot be sure that this is a record for the Olympian.

Ken Box – Member of Great Britain’s track and field delegation to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics

Ken Box, born December 1, 1930, represented Great Britain in two track events at the 1956 Melbourne Games. He was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 100 metres sprint, while in the 4×100 metres relay he came in fifth with the British team. He was also entered into the long jump, but did not start the competition. Internationally, his best result came at the 1954 European Championships, where he brought home a silver medal from the 4×100 metres relay. He also represented England at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, being eliminated in the heats of the 100 metres and just missing the podium in fourth in the 4×110 yards relay. He attempted to qualify for the 1960 Rome Olympics in the long jump, but did not succeed and thus retired. He later moved to Australia and we located an obituary for a Kenneth James Box (his full name) who died in Gympie, Queensland in July 1982. Unfortunately, the obituary does not give any details, not even an age, that would suggest that this was the athlete, while a 2012 article on him was written as if he were alive, although it did not explicitly say so. Thus, we are left with another Olympic mystery.

We will continue this series next week with more Olympians who reside currently on our list of missing links. We hope that you will join us!

10 thoughts on “1930 Olympic Missing Links”

    1. Kenneth James Box is still alive. The man you have mentioned above who died in Gympie is not the Olympian in question.

  1. Hi,
    I can confirm that Marcel TROUPEL has died Oct 27, 2019 in Antibes. The INSEE (french National Institute of Statistics) has collected information on him its french death database.
    His birth place is not known exactly but he was born in Algeria (french territory in 1930). Here is the data in INSEE database:
    Nom : TROUPEL
    Prénom : Marcel Albert
    Sexe : M
    Jour de naissance : 06
    Mois de naissance : 05
    Année de naissance : 1930
    Code insee naissance : 99352
    Pays de naissance : ALGERIE
    Jour de décès : 27
    Mois de décès : 09
    Année de décès : 2019
    Code insee deces : 06004
    Commune de décès : Antibes
    Pays de décès : FRANCE

    As I previously said in my post about Paulette VESTE, the INSEE data are now accessible to every one and specially people like me who are also interested in genealogy, cause Geneanet and Filae have indexed all the INSEE death database for the period 1970-2019.
    If you need help to confirm dates or places about french athletes just send me an email. I will glad to do the search for you.

  2. I can solve the mystery re Ken Box.

    He is my father and is definitely still alive, albeit with dementia. He will turn 90 this year. He has never lived in Gympie but did move to the Sunshine Coast in 1986, and still resides there.

    1. Thank you very much for this information. We at the OlyMADMen wish you and your family well, and if you would permit us to contact you by email, we would very much appreciate any information that you could provide to help us produce a profile of his life at Olympedia: http://www.olympedia.org/athletes/68903.

        1. Hello Vashti,
          What a surprise to hear from you! How are you?
          We are John and Henny Pauw, and were friends with your parents while living in Tasmania.
          Our daughters Lieske and Marion often played with you and Nigel in Middleton.
          Your father baptized me in the Derwent River.
          Sorry to hear your father is suffering from dementia. Is your mother stillalive? We are all all well,
          All the best, we love to hear from you.
          John Pauw, (Holland)

    2. Hello Vashti,

      We are John and Henny Pauw, and were friends with your parents Ken and Dawn Box while we lived in Tasmania. Our children, Lieske and Marion used play with you and your brother Nigel.
      We cherish the memories spending time with your family.
      Your father babtized me in the Derwent River in Kingston.
      How are you and your parents? Sorry to hear your father is suffering from dementia.
      All the best, and we hope to hear from you.
      John Pauw

      1. Hi John,
        Thank you for your message. Alas I don’t remember much of my younger years in Tasmania. Mum and dad are both still alive. I am happy for this page to supply you with my contact email if you reach out to them. Otherwise you can find me on social media.
        Vashti Biffanti

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *