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  • Dana Zatopkova RIP

    Dana Zatopkova (ne Ingrova) died today, 13 March 2020, at age 97+ yo. Born 19 September 1922, she had been the oldest living Olympic athletics gold medalist (1952 javelin). That honor now reverts to Arne Ahman (SWE) - 1948 triple jump gold medalist - born 4 February 1925, now 95+ yo. Closely followed by Leslie Laing (JAM), 1952 4x400 gold medalist - born 19 Feb 1925. Bob Richards remains the oldest American living gold medalist - born 20 February 1926 at 94+ yo.

    The oldest living female athletics gold medalist becomes Janet Moreau (USA), and oldest living female American gold medalist - born 26 October 1927 - 93+ yo.

    Still, John Lysak (USA-Canoeing) remains oldest living Olympian at 105+ yo - born 16 August 1914 - competed in 1936 Berlin. He is the second oldest living Olympian ever at this time, behind Walter Walsh (USA-Shooting) who died in April 2014 a few days short of his 107th birthday. Agnes Keleti (HUN-Gymnastics) is the oldest living Olympic gold medalist (any sport) - competed 1952/56 gymnastics - born 9 January 1921, now 99+ yo.


  • #2
    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
    by Thomas Henry Huxley

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bambam1729 View Post
      Dana Zatopkova (ne Ingrova) died today, 13 March 2020, at age 97+ yo. Born 19 September 1922, she had been the oldest living Olympic athletics gold medalist (1952 javelin). That honor now reverts to Arne Ahman (SWE) - 1948 triple jump gold medalist - born 4 February 1925, now 95+ yo. Closely followed by Leslie Laing (JAM), 1952 4x400 gold medalist - born 19 Feb 1925. Bob Richards remains the oldest American living gold medalist - born 20 February 1926 at 94+ yo.

      The oldest living female athletics gold medalist becomes Janet Moreau (USA), and oldest living female American gold medalist - born 26 October 1927 - 93+ yo.

      Still, John Lysak (USA-Canoeing) remains oldest living Olympian at 105+ yo - born 16 August 1914 - competed in 1936 Berlin. He is the second oldest living Olympian ever at this time, behind Walter Walsh (USA-Shooting) who died in April 2014 a few days short of his 107th birthday. Agnes Keleti (HUN-Gymnastics) is the oldest living Olympic gold medalist (any sport) - competed 1952/56 gymnastics - born 9 January 1921, now 99+ yo.
      The Zatopeks remain unmatched and unbeatable as Olympic icons. Husband and wife winning gold on the same day; were born on the same day. RIP

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      • #4
        Though i was much too young too have seen her in competition, that quote of hers from Helsinki is still one of the funniest ones in T&F history.

        I'm paraphrasing of course, but after Emil won his gold and Dana followed up soon after, he said she was inspired by him

        And she said 'go and inspire some other girl and see if she throws a javelin 50 metres'

        Vale Dana!

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        • #5
          NY Times obituary (may be behind their paywall): https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/s...kova-dead.html

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          • #6
            A nice tribute by Pat Butcher *"Ending On A Kiss" now on the home page.

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            • #7
              I've told this story before, but some time ago. I was in the Peace Corps in Indonesia 1964-1966. The Zatopeks were coaching in Djakarta, and I approached Emil and asked him for an autograph. A friend of mine who had washed out of training had asked me to. He invited me to his home that afternoon for tea. I was served tea and cake by Dana, who was very gracious, while Emil held forth at length in Indonesian, his English wasn't that good, and Dana puttered around the place. I remember how blue her eyes were. Just the normal housewife.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tandfman View Post
                NY Times obituary (may be behind their paywall): https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/s...kova-dead.html
                Written by the apparently immortal Frank Litsky

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                • #9
                  I found it interesting that the NY Times obit did not mention the fact that Zatapkova was the oldest female Olympic track & field gold medalist at the time of her death. Perhaps she did not have that distinction at the time of Frank Litsky's death in October, 2018. (The NY Times has pre-written obituaries of many famous people, so they're ready to print the news in a more timely manner, just adding the details of the individual's death and survivors. Litsky wrote quite a few about track and field athletes. I think there are still more than a dozen of them still in their files, just waiting for their subjects to pass away.)

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                  • #10
                    The NY Times may not have known that - even now. That stuff is tracked by one of my associates, Paul Tchir (aka Canadian Paul), and he's the world expert on "oldest living Olympians" but its not a well-known category

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