Joseph Reynders

Oldest Olympians is saddened to learn that that Belgian swimmer and water polo player Joseph Reynders, born December 16, 1929, died April 12 at the age of 94. Reynders represented his country in the 1500 metres freestyle event at the 1948 London Games, where he was eliminated in round one. He also represented Belgium at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, this time in the water polo tournament, where his nation placed sixth overall. Reynders had also competed in the 1500 metres freestyle at the 1947 European Championships, where he set a national record. By career, he ran an autobody shop in in Antwerp.

We wanted to make this announcement in a blog post so that we could highlight his brother, Kamiel, who is also among the oldest Olympians, having been born February 22, 1931. Kamiel represented Belgium as a member of the 4×200 metres freestyle relay swimming event at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where his country was 17th and last overall. Although we know little else about him, he was still alive in 2023 according to his family.

Finally, we wanted to provide an update on one of the Olympians that we noted on our list of Olympians who were last known alive in 2013: German track athlete Franz Happernagl, born December 25, 1929. Thanks to personal contact with a member of the OlyMADMen, we can now confirm that Happernagl is still alive as of 2024.