1932 Track and Field Olympic Mysteries

Today on Oldest Olympians, we want to return to the 1932 Los Angeles Games to look at some of the non-starters and reserves in the athletics competition about whom we know nothing. In general, data on track and field athletes is fairly good, but we wanted to devote a little attention to those competitors who have been overlooked.

First on our list is József Szabó, who was entered by Hungary into the long jump, but did not start the event. We do not know anything else about him, since his name is fairly common in Hungarian, but there was a József Szabó who wrote books on athletics during the 1940s who may be the Olympic non-starter. About another non-starter from Europe, Georgios Theodoratos of Greece in the shot put, we know nothing.

Brazil, meanwhile, has a number of athletes about whom we have only limited information. For example, we have at least a year of birth for six of the eight members of Brazil’s 4×100 metre relay entry, but two have eluded us. We believe that Raimundo Chrispiniano (who was also a potential for the 4×400 metres relay) might be the Raymundo Chrispiniano do Nascimento who was born in 1907 and died October 26, 1999 in Rio, as both were military professionals, but we have no proof. The name of the other, Aloisio da Silva, is too common for us to be able to find useful information. In the 4×400 relay, our mystery non-starter is Vicente Araujo, for whom we were also unable to uncover any biographical details.

(Heitor Medina, pictured at TECPAR)

There were three Brazilian non-starters in the 5000 metres, but the only one without even a year of birth is Jeronimo Maria, although we do know that he was competing as early as 1929 and continued until at least 1937. In the javelin throw, three Brazilians were entered, one of whom, Heitor Medina, actually competed. Born July 10, 1910, Medina later became a prominent biologist, but we were unable to locate his date of death. Similarly, Esmeraldo Azuaga, born August 8, 1908, who was entered into four events but did not start any of them, also became a doctor and is also missing a date of death. For the third javelin thrower, Domingos Trevisan (whose surname is sometimes spelled Trevison), we have no data.

Over the past few months, we have taken a look at some of the lesser-known Olympians from 1932 for whom we lack biographical data, but there are always more that we could cover. For Brazil’s water polo team, for example, we are missing at least one piece of biographical data on all but two of the players, and for two reserves, Alfredo Di Blasio and Jorge Pessoa, we know nothing at all. The further we examine reserves, the more such cases we can find, such as Austrian Franz Janisch, who did not start his weightlifting event. We want to move on to other topics, however, so we will leave 1932 with this and bring you something new soon!