Final Updates from 2021

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

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

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

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

(Lotte Haidegger)

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

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

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