Günther Haase and Daniel Dagallier

Today on Oldest Olympians we have two milestone birthdays, so it is time for another blog post to cover them both in lieu of choosing between them!

First, we wanted to wish Günther Haase a happy 99th birthday! Haase represented his country at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, where he won a bronze medal in platform diving. Two years earlier, he had won that event at the 1950 European Championships, and in total he collected eight national titles between 1943 and 1956. He later moved to the United States with his wife, also a German national champion in diving, and now resides in Florida as the oldest living German Olympic medalist.

Second, French fencer Daniel Dagallier is turning 98 today! In addition to his team bronze medal from the 1956 Summer Olympics, Dagallier won five team medals – one gold and two each of silver and bronze – in the event at the World Championships between 1951 and 1958, and also took gold at the 1955 Mediterranean Games. He is now the oldest living Olympic fencing medalist.

Růžena Košťálová

Due to emergency circumstances, Oldest Olympians was unable to post yesterday, and thus today we wanted to provide two posts in a single blog entry.

First, Oldest Olympians is saddened to learn that Czech canoeist Růžena Košťálová, born February 21, 1924, died April 12 at the age of 100. Košťálová was one half of the silver medal-winning Czechoslovakian team in the Kayak Doubles, 500 metres event at the 1948 World Championships and represented the country at that year’s Olympic Games in the Kayak Singles, 500 metres. Although she won her heat in the opening round, she finished fifth in the final. Having already won 12 national titles in the sport, she retired from active competition shortly thereafter and eventually moved to Switzerland with her family in 1968.

(Jindřich Mikulec)

At the time of her death, Košťálová was the oldest living Olympian to have represented Czechoslovakia and the oldest living Olympic canoeist. The first distinction now goes to gymnast Jindřich Mikulec, born May 11, 1928. Mikulec represented his country in the tournament at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where he was seventh in the team all-around and had a best individual finish of joint-24th in the floor exercise. Luxembourg’s Léon Roth, meanwhile, born September 10, 1926, is now the oldest living Olympic canoeist. Roth represented his country in two events at the Helsinki Olympics, where he placed 17th in the K-1 10,000 and was eliminated in round one of the K-2 1000.

(Eric Nillson)

Secondly, today we were planning to feature Swedish track athlete Eric Nilsson, born December 26, 1926, who recently turned 97. Nilsson represented his country in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, but was eliminated in round one. He now resides in Arbrå.