Today on Oldest Olympians we are looking into the possibility that two Olympic athletes by the name of Ahmed Labidi are in fact just one individual. While we have a fairly strong feeling that they are one and the same, we wanted to open this issue up to everyone in the hopes that we can uncover some conclusive proof.
The first individual under consideration is known by the full name of Mohamed Ali Ahmed Ben Labidi and was supposedly born April 19, 1923. Representing CA Montreuil, he competed for France in the 10,000 metres event at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and placed 25th among 33 starters. This individual continued representing France through 1955, after which there is no definite information on him. This coincides roughly with Tunisian independence in 1956, after which it is possible that he resided in Tunisia.
The second individual is known by the full name of Ahmed Ben Dali Labidi and was allegedly born May 4, 1922 in Gammouda, Tunisia. A member of Zitouna Sports, he represented Tunisia in the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics, finishing 49th among 69 starters. Beyond his Olympic participation, we know nothing further of this individual.
Two sources tie these individuals together as one. The first is the French Wikipedia, which also claims that he died on July 17, 2008. The other is a Tunisian Facebook page, although the only source that it lists for this claim is Wikipedia itself. On the surface, there is nothing glaring to signal an immediate rejection of this claim: they have roughly the same name, are roughly the same age, and competed in roughly the same discipline.
We are contacting the individuals associated with these posts in both Arabic and French in the hopes of learning more and finding some manner of confirmation. In the meantime, we wanted to post about it on this blog not only in the hopes that someone who sees it has some information that might help solve the mystery, but also to present a case that we feel might be of some interest to our readers. As always, we hope that the process of our research, as well as highlighting areas of potential confusion, are worth hearing about.