Several Updates to Oldest Olympian Titleholders

Yesterday we noted that sport shooter Khalif Ayyat, born December 1, 1929, died September 5, 2022, at the age of 92 as the oldest living Jordanian Olympian and oldest survivor of the 1980 Moscow Games. We know of no other Jordanian Olympians who are alive over the age of 90, but Polish equestrian Wanda Wąsowska, born June 28, 1931, is now the oldest survivor of the Moscow Olympics. In addition to this, we have a few other titleholders that have died recently that we want to cover in this blog.

(José Pérez)

First, we had listed sailor Sergio González, born July 3, 1925, as the oldest living Mexican Olympian for some time. Research by Connor Mah, however, uncovered the fact that he died September 3, 2017, and thus never held the title. According to our lists, therefore, José Pérez, born October 10, 1928, who represented his country in three consecutive editions of the modern pentathlon (1952-1960), and fencing at latter edition, would be the oldest living Mexican Olympian. An anonymous edit to Wikipedia, however, claims that he died in 2022, although we have not been able to confirm this. If it were true, rower Roberto Retolaza, born January 12, 1930, who took part in the Games in 1960 and 1968, would be the oldest living Mexican Olympian.

(María del Carmen Vall)

Next, we had alpine skier Ramón Blanco, born February 6, 1925, who took part in the slalom at the 1948 St. Moritz Games, as the oldest living Spanish Olympian. Again, however, Connor Mah discovered that Blanco died in September of 2021. This makes fencer María del Carmen Vall, born June 17, 1926, the oldest living Spanish Olympian to the best of our knowledge. We last heard from her on her 90th birthday.

(Max Bolkart)

We were also saddened to learn that French ski jumper André Monnier, born June 26, 1926, died October 8 at the age of 97. Monnier represented his nation at both the 1952 and 1956 Winter Olympics, finishing joint-36th and joint-46th respectively. He was more successful in his home country, winning several national championships, and later helped carry the Olympic torch to Grenoble when the Winter Games came there in 1968. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living Olympic ski jumper, and we thought that distinction would go to his compatriot Régis Rey, born April 8, 1929, who competed in the same events. Rey, however, died April 6, 2022. Thus we now believe that Max Bolkart, born July 29, 1932, who represented Germany at the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Winter Games, is now the oldest living Olympic ski jumper.

(Tony Genato, pictured at the Tiebreaker Times)

Finally, basketball player Tony Genato, born June 9, 1929, died November 22 at the age of 94. Genato took part in the basketball tournaments at the 1952 and 1956 Summer Games, where his country was eliminated in round one and the quarterfinals respectively. He had much better luck in 1954, when his team won gold at the Asian Games and bronze at the World Championships. He retired in 1959 and later worked as a basketball coach. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living Olympian to have represented the Philippines. That title now goes to Horacio Miranda, born September 20, 1931, who represented his country three editions of the rapid-fire pistol, 25 metres shooting event from 1960-1968.