Today on Oldest Olympians, we wanted to provide an update to titleholders among the oldest Olympians. What brought on this blog post was the death of rower Tirso del Junco, who was the oldest living Cuban Olympian.
Del Junco, born April 20, 1925, represented his country in the coxed fours rowing event at the 1948 London Olympics, where his boat was eliminated in the quarterfinals. The following year he moved to the United States and eventually participated in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, before moving to California to work as a surgeon. He was heavily active in Republican Party politics in the state and was a delegate to the national convention from 1968 through 2004. He died September 4 at the age of 98.
We then believed that basketball player Ramón Wiltz, born December 12, 1926, had taken the title of oldest Cuban Olympian. Wiltz represented his country in the tournaments at the 1948 and 1952 Games, placing 13th both times. He had better luck at the Central American and Caribbean Games, winning silver in 1946 and bronze in 1950. He later moved to Florida, where we believed him to still be living; we learned from a family tree, however, that he died May 27, 2022 in Miami.
The next oldest Cuban Olympian on our lists was swimmer Raúl García, born April 9, 1930. García represented his country in the 100 metres freestyle event at the 1948 London Games, where he was eliminated in round one. He had had better luck at the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games, where he had won a bronze medal with the 4×200 metres freestyle relay. García later worked as a lawyer in Florida, and while several sources suggested that he was still alive recently, the Florida Bar now lists him as deceased. Connor Mah was then able to locate a post from his niece, showing that he died in August 2020.
We believe, therefore, that sport shooter Enrique Guedes, born July 17, 1932, is now the oldest living Cuban Olympian. Guedes represented his country in the small-bore rifle, prone, 50 metres event at the 1968 Mexico City Games, where he placed 61st. He had better luck at the 1970 Central American and Caribbean Games, where he took silver with the team and bronze individually in the 50 m small-bore rifle prone English match. He was also a silver medalist with the Cuban team at the 1971 Pan American Games in the small-bore rifle 3 positions.
Finally, earlier this month we covered Swedish athlete Bo Åhlen, born March 18, 1931, who was a reserve in the 100 metres and the 4×400 metres relay at the 1952 Helsinki Games. We were informed subsequently by Carl-Johan Johansson that Åhlen died August 23, 2023 in Älvsjö.