Today on Oldest Olympians, we are concluding our series on Olympians who were last known living in 2012. First, however, we wanted to thank our readers who provided us with updates from the previous posts: Üner Teoman and Fred Daigle are still living, while Aram Boghossian was still alive in 2015, so he is no longer in immediate danger of being removed from the list.
(Francisco de Andrade on the left)
Francisco de Andrade – Bronze medalist for Portugal in Star class sailing at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics
Francisco de Andrade, born July 15, 1923, represented Portugal in the Star class sailing tournament at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where he won a bronze medal. Although he had taken part in several World Championships prior to the Olympics, Andrade retired after earning this prize, as he wanted to spend more time with his family. He did, however, found and run sailing schools by profession. His partner, Joaquim Fiúza, was at one time Portugal’s oldest living Olympian and, having died at the age of 102 years, 24 days, remains the country’s only centenarian Olympian. Andrade is one of two Olympians that we missed on our list of Olympic “title holders”, as he would be turning 100 this year as the oldest Portuguese Olympian and the oldest Olympic sailing medalist. We have not, however, been able to locate an update on him since 2012.
Dimitri Atanasov – Member of Bulgaria’s alpine skiing delegation to the 1952 Oslo Olympics
Dimitri Atanasov, born August 8, 1927, represented Bulgaria in the slalom at the 1952 Oslo Games, where he was eliminated after the first run. Like Andrade, we missed him in our previous post, as he is a candidate for the oldest living Bulgarian Olympian. We have not had much luck keeping up with Bulgarian Olympians, however, and Atanasov is no different; our last evidence of his being alive comes from his 85th birthday announcement in 2012.
Klaus von Freesen – Member of Germany’s rowing delegation to the 1956 Melbourne Games
Klaus von Fersen, born March 29, 1931, represented Germany in the single sculls at the 1956 Melbourne Games, where he was eliminated in the semi-finals. At the European Championships, he won four consecutive silver medals from 1956 through 1959, while domestically he won the German title six times from 1955 through 1960, in addition to a double sculls title in the first year. We believe that he is still alive, as he is fairly well-known, but sometimes even medalists die beneath the radar and the last concrete evidence we have comes from 2012.
Paul Maue – Member of Germany’s cycling delegation to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics
Paul Maue, born January 4, 1932, represented Germany in cycling’s road race at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where he was fifth with the team and 48th individually. He was national champion in 1954 and had a professional career, but he retired after two seasons. His son Michael competed in the 100 kilometers team time trial that finished 12th at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Again, we suspect that Paul is still alive, but our last piece of definite evidence comes from 2012.
Milica Rožman – Member of Yugoslavia’s gymnastics delegation to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics
Milica Rožman, born August 5, 1932, represented Yugoslavia in the gymnastics tournament at the 1952 Helsinki Games, finishing 11th in the team all-around and 8th in the team portable apparatus, and had a best individual result of 44th on the balance beam. She had been a reserve at the 1948 London Olympics and placed fourth in the team all-around at the 1950 World Championships. Like many Olympians that we have featured recently, we saw an update on her for the 2012 London Games, but nothing since.
Benny Schmidt – Denmark’s lone modern pentathlete at the 1960 Rome Olympics
Benny Schmidt, born June 25, 1929, represented Denmark in the modern pentathlon at the 1960 Rome Games, where he placed 47th and carried the nation’s flag in the opening ceremony. He won a national title in the 4×100 metres in 1953, and then became the Danish show jumping champion from 1956 through 1959. He was a military officer for his entire career, and while it seems likely that he is still alive, we only have evidence of this from 2012.
Jaroslav Šír – Member of Czechoslovakia’s military ski patrol delegation to the 1948 St. Moritz Olympics
Jaroslav Šír, born November 8, 1923, represented Czechoslovakia in the military ski patrol demonstration event at the 1948 St. Moritz Games, where his nation placed sixth. Serving in the army, he was a member of the national ski team from 1948 through 1955, although he never won an international medal. If he were still alive, he would be turning 100 this year, although we have not heard anything about him since 2012.
Günter Stratmann – Germany’s lone fencer at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics
Günter Stratmann, born January 8, 1931, represented Germany in all three fencing events at the 1956 Melbourne Games, where he was eliminated in the semifinals of the foil and sabre and the second round of the épée. Domestically, he was a four-time German champion and, by career, was a businessman. His son Jörg took part in the sabre tournament at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. We do not know for certain if Günter is still alive, but we do have confirmation from 2012.
This concludes our series on Olympians who were last known living in 2012, which means that for the next blog entry we will be presenting a new topic. We hope that you will join us!