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A Look Back on Micheline Ostermeyer


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  • A Look Back on Micheline Ostermeyer ... sp?id=2438
    • 21 December 2007
      In two days’ time, she would have celebrated her 85th birthday, on Sunday 23 December. Sport and music provided rhythm in the life of France’s Micheline Ostermeyer. The strength of her muscles and her skill, her finesse and dexterity made her at once a brilliant pianist and an outstanding athlete. (more)
    In 1948, women made their mark on the Games. Athletes like Fanny Blankers-Koen and Micheline Ostermeyer proved that sport and femininity could go together. For her first and only Olympic participation, the woman who made music a sport and sport a distraction won two gold medals (discus and shot put) and a bronze medal (high jump).
    Who said that athletics and the piano were incompatible? Not Micheline, who played her Olympic score perfectly.

  • #2
    Looking at today's top shot putters, none of them looks like they could make a great pianist :twisted:
    Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...


    • #3
      Size - as they say in the world of piano playing - is not everything. Oscar Peterson and Fats Waller were not skinny, but could play quite good piano.

      Ostermeyer was an excellent athlete, but like Bob Mathias was lucky to win gold in London. Andreyeva won the USSR title that year with 14.44 (Ostermeyer 13.75 in London) and 3 Soviets were over 14m that year. In the DT, Dumbadze had the 12 best marks of the year (her 10 best averaged over 50m, while Ostermeyer threw 41.92 to win the OG. 2 years earlier Ostermeyer was a good 2nd in the SP in the European Championships with 12.84 (Sevryukova won with 14.16) and was 3rd in 1950 with 13.37 (Andreyeva 14.32). In the 1950 DT she was 4th with 41.22 only 3'5" from a silver medal, but more than 22' behind Dumbadze. There is no denying Ostermeyer's athleticism - in the '46 HJ she was only 3 cm below the winning height, and lost only on countback to Chudina and Blankers-Koen. She was, however, a much better pianist than her competitors.


      • #4
        Though Micheline (and a number of other medallists) were rather fortunate in London, it's still one of those fairy-tale stories that were possible fifty years ago, but rarer nowadays.

        If Ostermayer was around today and really excelled in music and aths, she'd no doubt be forced by her federation or orchestra to drop the other diversion.

        French Orchestras complaining their rehearsals always interrupted by random drug-testing. Olympic Dream Team complaining about that 'damn piano playin' coming from the French accomodation every day. Insurance prohibitive for her should she damage a finger or hand and incur loss of earnings.

        Still, she might earn a few dollars wearing 'Ray-Bans' or similar instead of her own trademark dark glasses.


        • #5
          not really possile to assign any all-time greatness to someone who wouda been lucky to come back with 1 bronze if all her competition had been there