Two Australian Field Hockey Olympians

(Dennis Kemp, pictured at Hockey Australia)

Today on Oldest Olympians we wanted to cover two Australian field hockey Olympians who died in November: Dennis Kemp and Mike Craig. Kemp, born July 28, 1931, represented his country in the tournament at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, where the Australians placed fifth. A member of the Perth Hockey Club, he had made his début with the national squad in 1954 and would remain active in the sport as either a player or coach through 1980. He was also selected for the 1960 Rome Games, but was unable to attend. He died November 17 at the age of 92.

(Mike Craig, pictured at Hockey Australia)

Mike Craig, born February 7, 1931, was able to make the trip, however, where Australia ranked sixth. Outside of his playing career, he was known for his contributions to the administrative side of the sport and was awarded several times for his work in this field. He died November 20, also at the age of 92.

We also wanted to use this opportunity to mention the death of an Olympian that occurred nearly two years ago. Up until recently, we listed Enrique Lucca, born December 23, 1923, as the oldest living Venezuelan Olympian. Lucca represented his country in the small-bore rifle, prone, 50 metres sport shooting event at the 1956 Melbourne Games, where he finished 25th. He had better luck at the 1963 Pan American Games, where he won a bronze medal in the team version of that competition. We had been told by his son that he was still alive in August 2021, and were looking forward to his 100th birthday later this year. Some of his other relatives, however, informed us that Lucca actually died one month after we learned that he was alive, on September 15, 2021.

Finally, we wanted to end this blog with an Olympic mystery related to its main topic: field hockey. Daiji Kurauchi, born in 1913, represented Japan in the field hockey tournament at the 1936 Berlin Games, where his country placed joint-fifth with Afghanistan. We were able to locate a report about an individual by this name who died January 19, 1953 at the age of 41, which would be appropriate for the Olympian if the year of birth was just an estimate. This individual is listed as being a liquor executive by occupation, however, and thus we cannot tie him definitively to the Olympian.