In our last Oldest Olympians blog entry, we mentioned the case of several architects who entered the art competitions for the 1936 Berlin Olympics while representing Czechoslovakia. This made us realize that we have a handful more of Czechoslovakian art competitors from that year about whom we know little to nothing, so we wanted to take some time today to cover them in their own post.
First, there was another architecture entry, titled “Construction project for the grandstand of the ‘Sparta’ Athletic Club”, which was meant to expand the seating capacity at Letná Stadium in Prague, which had been built in 1917. Of the three submitters, we have full biographical information on Václav Houdek, who was known for his projects in Slovakia. The names of the other two submitters, Josef Bauer and Jaroslav Nedvěd, are relatively common, and we have not been able to learn more about them.
In the music, compositions for orchestra competition, František Koubek submitted a work titled “Vlastní silou – k vítězství” (“With your own strength to victory”), but we do not have any other information about him. In literature’s dramatic works category, meanwhile, Richard Augsten entered “Eternal Olympia”, which was a “festival play”. Augsten was a secondary school teacher who wrote stage plays, but we do not know his biographical data.
Additionally, in the literature, epic works, competition, we have the most mysterious Czechoslovakian art competitor of all: an individual known only by the name “Jerry” submitted “The Meaning and Essence of Sport”. With this being such a common first name, as well as potentially a surname, we have been unable to uncover any more about this entrant. In this regard he is much like the artist known only as “Chiffre”, who submitted “Sports in Music” to the instrumental and chamber music category, representing Yugoslavia.
Finally, we wanted to thank our readers once again for providing us with new information on some of our past Olympic mysteries. Ralf Regnitter was able to confirm that German cyclist Paul Maue is still alive, while Wikipedia user Pbk demonstrated that the Czechoslovakian Věra Drazdíková who died in 1983 was indeed in the Olympic gymnast. Finally, Connor Mah passed on the sad news that Anna Van Marcke, born April 18, 1924, who we had been listing for many years as the oldest living Belgian Olympian, actually died shortly after the last update we had in June 2012. This means that speed skating champion Micheline Lannoy has been the oldest living Belgian Olympian since 2021.