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Double Z


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  • Double Z

    Happy birthday today (Sunday) to two Olympic champions with a total of 198 years since their births.

    Our birthday people competed in a total of seven Olympic Games, three of which were the same Games.

    No hurdles were involved in any of their seven Olympic Games.

    One of our birthday athletes died at the age of 78 while the other was 97 when death came.

    Both were born on the same continent.

    Please name these Olympians on this fourth Sunday of September.

  • #2
    Emil Zatopek and Dana Zatopkova (nee Ingrova?).

    I know they were born on the same day, so I assume that was 99 years ago.


    • #3
      Haha, I thought there were two few clues, but should have gotten the implications of "double Z". Since Emil was in three games, Dana must have been in four!


      • #4
        Emil Zatopek was born in Czechoslovakia 99 years ago today and Dana Ingrova Zatopkova was also born in Czechoslovakia 99 years ago today. Very good, Trickstat. Yes, both people were born on the same day, same month, and same year in the same country. Both competed in the 1948 London Olympic Games where Dana placed seventh in the women's javelin. Emil won the Olympic 10,000 in London (29:59.6) by 47.8 seconds, the greatest margin in Olympic history. Three days later (August 02, 1948), Emil was second in the 5,000 (14:17.8) to Belgium's Gaston Reiff (14:17.6). Reiff had about a 30 meter lead with one lap to go and was almost caught by Zatopek's amazing last lap in the rain and muddy track.

        At the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, Emil won the 10,000 (29:17.0) for an Olympic record. That was Zatopek's 30th win in 30 races at the 10,000. Four days after winning the 10,000, Emil won the 5,000 (14:06.6) in an Olympic record. Emil's final lap in that 5,000 (57.9) was the fastest last lap in his career. You might remember the dramatic fall of Chris Chataway (Great Britain) on the final curve of that last lap. Chataway got up and finished in fifth place.

        A few minutes after Zatopek's victory in the 5,000, his wife (they married in 1949) won the women's javelin with her first round throw of 50.47 (165' 7"). That winning toss was also an Olympic record.

        Three days after winning the 5,000, Emil won the Olympic marathon (2:23:03.2) for another Olympic record. The defending Olympic marathon champion (Delfo Cabrera of Argentina) placed sixth in Helsinki.

        At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, Dana was fourth in the women's javelin and Emil was sixth place in the marathon (2:29:34).

        Emil did not compete at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, however Dana took the silver medal in the women's javelin (53,78 or 176' 5").

        Emil died at the age of 78 in the Czech Republic on a Tuesday in November of 2000. He and Dana were both born on a Tuesday. Dana died at the age of 97 in the Czech Republic on a Friday the 13th in March of 2020.

        If I had to pick a favorite athlete in track & field, I would be hard pressed to find anyone better than Emil Zatopek. I was very lucky to have met him (I had dinner with him in Finland and in California). He was a wonderful person and an icon in our sport.

        Thank you, Trickstat and Olli.


        • #5
          i was wondering what Zach Ziemek had to do with all this :-)


          • #6
            Just lots of Z's.