More German Ice Stock Sport Competitors

Today on Oldest Olympians, we wanted to begin wrapping up a topic that we started to discuss some time ago, but never covered in full: eisstockschießen, or “ice stock sport” at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Olympics. We have covered this tournament haphazardly over the past while, but we wanted be a little more organized now and touch upon the remaining mystery competitors that we have not yet mentioned. Today, we are going to take a quick look at those who competed in individual events.

There is only one individual that we have not mentioned who competed in both individual distance and target shooting events: Georg Lüftiger of Wintersportverein Holzkirchen. Lüftiger was fifth and sixth in target and distance shooting respectively, and was also third in the German-only team event. Despite his being relatively more prolific in the sport, we know nothing about him or his third-placed team: Englbert Kigele, Josef Raufer, Hans Schwimmbeck, and Ernst Vogler.

Three of the remaining individuals just missed the podium in fourth: Ferdinand Erb in international distance shooting, Franz Klarl in German distance shooting, and Johann Ostler in German target shooting. Josef Seilmaier was sixth in target shooting, while Werner Niemeyer Matthias Enzersberger and Otto Reisinger were seventh, ninth, and 11th in distance shooting, all of which were the German-only events. Josef Körner and Franz Zauner also competed in the target shooting competition, but were not ranked.

Aside from assuming that Otto Enzersberger was somehow related to Matthias, as they were both members of the 1. Eisstock-Club Bad Reichenhall club that placed sixth in the German-only team event with Seilmaier, we know nothing about any of these men. We wanted to review this topic only in the hopes that, by getting their names out there a little more, we might one day learn more about them and their contributions to the world of sport.

Two Upcoming Birthdays

Over the next two days, we have birthdays of two Olympians who hold titles among the Oldest Olympians. Both of these individuals, however, were last known living in 2012 and were featured in a blog entry earlier this year as such. Because of this, we wanted to mention them both in another blog post to discuss who will be their successors should we have to remove them from our tables at the end of the year due to a lack of updates.

(Im Gyeong-Sun, pictured at Korea JoongAng Daily)

The first is Hong Jong-Oh, born July 7, 1925, who would be turning 98 today. Hong represented South Korea in two editions of the Olympic marathon, placing 25th in 1948 and failing to finish in 1952. He was mentioned in 2012 as being one of the few local survivors of the 1948 London Games, which would now make him the oldest living South Korean Olympian, but we have not seen an update since then. If he were deceased, alpine skier Im Gyeong-Sun, born in 1929, would be the oldest living South Korean Olympian.

(Lies Bonnier)

The second is Lies Bonnier, born July 8, 1925, who would be turning 98 tomorrow. She represented the Netherlands in the 200 metres breaststroke event at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where she was eliminated in the semi-finals. After winning her first and only national title a few months after the Olympics, she retired from active competition, although she later participated in masters-level tournaments. She was known to be alive in 2012 and, if she is still alive today, then she is the oldest living Dutch Olympian. If not, then that title goes to canoeist Cees Koch, born December 30, 1925.

Bea Ballintijn

Oldest Olympians is saddened to learn that Norwegian swimmer Bea Ballintijn, born May 9, 1923, died June 29 at the age of 100. Ballintijn represented her country in the 100 metres backstroke at the 1948 London Games, where she was eliminated in round one. Domestically, she was champion in that event in 1938 and 1939 and from 1946 through 1951. When we featured her recently, we noted that she was the oldest living Norwegian Olympian, and thus we wanted to cover her successor in that regard in this blog.

When looking up information on the Olympian that we believed to be her successor, however, track athlete Viktor Olsen, born February 5, 1924, we learned that he died April 21 at the age of 99. Olsen represented his country in the marathon at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where he finished 16th. Domestically, he was a five-time national champion (1954 1956-1959) and also won the 25 kilometer road race from 1953 through 1957. By career, he was a gardener.

This makes Ingrid Wigernæs, born February 22, 1928, the new oldest living Norwegian Olympian. Wigernæs took part in three cross-country skiing events across two editions of the Winter Olympics, finishing 27th in the 10 km in 1956 and joint-15th and 12th in the 5 and 10 km events respectively in 1964. She won several national titles over the course of her career, but her biggest international success came at the 1966 World Championships, where she was a member of the 3×5 km relay squad that took silver. She later turned to coaching, with her most notable success in that realm coming from her mentorship over the 3×5 km relay team that took gold at the 1968 Grenoble Games. Wigernæs was already the oldest living Olympian to have competed at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics and now resides in Oslo.

Finally, we have some additional updates on previous cases, including two of our Austrian Olympic mysteries that are now solved. Fencer Richard Brünner has been confirmed as the individual born November 18, 1888 and died November 25, 1962, while figure skater Fritz Wächtler did die on July 26, 1963. Finally, we learned the French gymnast previously known as Antoine Chatelaine, and then André Chatelaine, was actually André Chatelain, born March 31, 1902 and died January 14, 1968.