John De Saram and Don Sheff

Today on Oldest Olympians we have two milestone birthdays, so we are continuing our tradition of writing a blog post to cover both in lieu of choosing between them!

(John De Saram, pictured at the Daily News)

First, we are wishing Sri Lankan track athlete John De Saram a happy 95th birthday! De Saram represented his country at the 1948 London Olympics, where he was eliminated in the quarterfinals and round one of the 200 and 400 metres events respectively. He also competed at the 1950 British Empire Games, where his best finish was fourth in the 4×110 yards relay. He later had a lengthy career with the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs and the International Law Commission, and served as his country’s ambassador to the United Nations from 1998 to 2002. He is now the oldest living Sri Lankan Olympian!

(Don Sheff, pictured in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle on December 19, 1952)

Secondly, we want to wish American swimmer Don Sheff a happy 93rd birthday! Sheff represented the United States in the 4×200 metres freestyle relay at the 1952 Helsinki Games, which won gold. Because he only swam in the heats, however, he did not receive an actual medal due to the rules of the time. He also won several medals at the 1950 Maccabiah Games. Despite not winning a physical medal, he still competed, and thus we consider him the oldest living Olympic swimming champion!