Today Oldest Olympians is continuing its look into mystery competitors from the 1948 London Olympics for whom we lack both a date of birth and confirmation as to whether they are alive or deceased. Given the time that has passed, nearly all of these Olympians would be at least 90 years old, but there is a possibility that some are still alive. As we mentioned in our last post, today we have decided to look at the mystery Greek Olympians who took part in the London Games.
Two of these competitors, Filas Paraskevaidis and Nikos Filippidis, competed in the coxed fours rowing events, where Greece was eliminated in the round one repêchage. We know a fair bit about the squad as a whole, including that another rower, Nikos Nikolaou, was born June 23, 1925 and is among our “possibly living” Olympians. We also know that Paraskevaidis is deceased, but with no other biographical details, and for Filippidis we have been unable to find anything due to his popular name.
Continuing the aquatic theme, sailor Georgios Kalampokidis took part in the Star class competition, where he placed 10th. Despite having carried the flag for the Greek delegation at the London Games, we know nothing about him, although he is likely deceased, as all of his crewmates were born in the 1900s decade. Nikolaos Melanofeidis, meanwhile, competed in both the 100 metres backstroke swimming event, as well as the water polo tournament, but we also have no biographical details for him.
There are three more members of the water polo team that remain Olympic mysteries: Alexandros Monastiriotis, Emmanouil Papadopoulos, and Ioannis Papastefanou. Monastiriotis is sometimes connected to the FIFA referee of the same name who was born in the first half of the 1920s. According to Greek Wikipedia, he died on April 28, 2020, but we have not been able to verify any of this information, or even the connection. Papastefanou was a three-time Greek champion (1945, 1946, 1950) and was still alive in 1999, but we do not know if that is still the case. About Papadopoulos, we have no information at all.
The last mystery Greek is Petros Leonidis, who took part in the cycling road race but failed to finish either individually or as a member of the team. He was the Panhellenic champion in 1947 and 1950, but aside from this we have been unable to uncover anything about him. We want to end this entry, however, by thanking the reader who discovered that Portuguese equestrian João Barrento, who we covered in our last blog entry, died in 1988.