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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Olympic Games athlete

Forrest Smithson, an American theology student, won the 1908 Olympic 110 metre hurdles final whilst carrying a Bible in his left hand. He did this as a protest against holding the competition on a Sunday.

Queenie Newall, was an English archer who won the gold medal at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. She was 53 years old at the time, still the oldest female gold medal winner at the Olympic Games.

Queenie Newall

Francisco Lazaro collapsed with sunstroke and heart trouble toward the end of the 1912 Olympic marathon in Stockholm and died. Lazaro was one of only two athletes to die as a result of Olympic competition. (Danish cyclist Knut Jensen who died while participating in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome was the other.)

Poland's Stella Walsh (Stanislawa Walasiewicz)-won the women's 100-meter race at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, becoming the first woman to break the 12-second barrier. When she was killed in 1980 as an innocent victim in a robbery attempt, an autopsy declared her to be a male.

When American Jesse Owens won the 200-metres at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, his teammate, Mack Robinson, finished second. Mack's little brother, Jackie, later would break the color barrier in major-league baseball.

Marjorie Gestring won the gold medal in 3-meter springboard diving at the Summer Olympics in Berlin on October 30, 1936. She was aged 13 years and 268 days at the time, making her the youngest person ever to win an Olympic gold medal.

The American Olympic Champion Marjorie Gestring

In 1948 Englishman John Copley submitted an engraving entitled Polo Players to the art competitions of the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London. He won the silver medal in the Mixed Painting, Engravings And Etchings category, finishing second behind French artist Albert Decaris. At the time of the competition Copley was 73 years of age, making him the oldest ever Olympic medal winner.

The arts competitions are no longer recognized by the International Olympic Committee and, when only considering the sporting competitions, 72 year old Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn is recorded as the oldest medal winner.

At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Abebe Bikila becomes the first sub-Saharan African to win a gold medal, winning the marathon in bare feet.

At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, two American track and field athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who finished first and third in the 200 metres, performed the Black Power salute on the victory stand. They were also shoeless during the protest to represent black poverty. The second-place finisher, Peter Norman of Australia, wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of Smith and Carlos.

With his victory in the 4×100 m medley relay at the Beijing Summer Olympics on August 17 2008, Michael Phelps set the records for the most gold medals won by an individual in a single Olympics (8) as well as total career gold medals (14) in modern Olympic history.

Phelps holds one of his gold medals on the podium with Ryan Lochte and László Cseh

The first gold medal for an independent sportsman was awarded to Kuwaiti Fehaid Al-Deehani at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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