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  • Vane Hungerford Pennell (1876 - 1939)
    Vane Hungerford Pennell (August 16, 1876 – June 17, 1938) English rackets and real tennis player who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics for Great Britain. Educated at Eton, Charterhouse an...
  • Tonya Harding
    Tonya Harding is an American figure skating champion, a two-time Olympian, and a two-time Skate America Champion. In 1991, she won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and placed second in the World C...
  • Sonja Henie (1912 - 1969)
    Sonja Henie (April 8, 1912 – October 12, 1969) was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic Champion (1928, 1932, 1936) in Ladies Singles, a ten-time World Champio...
  • Maribel Vinson (1911 - 1961)
    Maribel Yerxa Vinson-Owen (October 12, 1911 – February 15, 1961) was an American figure skater and coach. She competed in the disciplines of ladies singles and pair skating. As a single skat...
  • Shannon Lee Miller
    Shannon Lee Miller is a former artistic gymnast from Edmond, Oklahoma. She was the 1993 and 1994 World All-Around Champion, the 1996 Olympics balance beam gold medalist, the 1995 Pan Am Games all-aroun...

This project is a place to list famous and "historic" Olympians and perhaps connect them to Geni profiles.

Youngest Olympic Champions in History

  • The youngest athlete to participate at the Modern Olympics was Dimitrios Loundras of Greece who was 10 years, 216 days old when he competed in men's team parallel bars gymnastics at the 1896 Games in Athens.
  • Inge Sørensen of Denmark was 12 yrs, 24 days old when she won a bronze medal in the 200m Breaststroke in 1936.
  • The youngest athlete to win a gold Marjorie Gestring of the United States who was 13 years, 267 days old when she won the women's springboard diving event at the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin.
  • Barbara Pearl Jones won gold at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. At 15 years old, she is still the youngest track and field gold medalist in history.
  • Marjorie Gestring won gold for the United States diving team in the 1936 Berlin Games when she was only 13 years old. Due to the war, she was unable to defend her title.
  • Nadia Elena Comaneci was the first gymnast to get a perfect score at the Olympics, she was also the youngest to win the all-around title at only 14 years old during the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
  • Bob Mathias was able to overcome his inexperience to win the Decathlon at the 1948 London Games easily at just 17-years old, and without knowing many of the rules of the event.
  • Eleanor Simmonds is the youngest Paralympic Champion, winning gold in the 100 and 400-meters swimming competition for England at only 13 years old. Simmonds continues to train in her hometown of Swansea.
  • Fu Minxia Olympic diver - winning a gold medal award while in her teens. She won gold in Barcelona 1992 at just 14 years old.
  • The youngest runner to win the Olympic marathon, as well as the four major marathons, Sammy Wanjiru was only 22 years old when he won in Beijing 2008. He died two years later in an apparent suicide.
  • Tara Lipinksi, figure skater, won the gold medal at the 1998 Winter Games when she was only 15 years old. She is still the youngest gold medalist in the Winter Olympic Game history.
  • Henry Cejudo the youngest ever American wrestling champion (21) at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. He is expected to defend his title in 2012 despite a short lived retirement.
  • Dmitry Nelyubin is the youngest cycler to ever win a gold medal at 17 in Seoul 1988. Unfortunately, Nelybuin would be killed in a street fight in 2005. His attackers were charged with murder.

Oldest Olympic Champions in History

  • Oscar Swahn won a gold medal for shooting at the 1912 Olympics, when he was 64 years and 280 days old. At the time of his win, Swahn was 9 months older than Galen Spencer had been when he won his gold medal in 1904.
  • The oldest ever Olympian is Oscar Swahn of Sweden. He was 72 years, 281 days old when he competed at the 1920 Olympics in shooting. He also qualified for the 1924 Olympics but withdrew without competing.
  • Arthur von Pongracz of Austria competed at age 72 in Dressage in 1936, becoming one of the oldest ever competitors at the Olympics. He was born June 25, 1864 and competed on August 12-13, 1936, - 72 years and 49 days old.
  • Hiroshi Hoketsu equestrian rider became the oldest Japanese Olympic representative at age 67in Beijing 2008. Hoketsu first took part in the Olympics in 1964, and he has also made the team for the 2012 Olympics, where he will be 71 years old.
  • Louis, Count du Douet de Graville (69 years, 95 days) competed in Equestrian at the 1900 Olympics. He was born February 27, 1831, competed June 2, 1900.
  • Galen Carter Spencer was an American who competed in archery at the 1904 Summer Olympics. He won the gold medal in the team competition. He was born September 19, 1840, and competed on September 19, 1904, which means he competed on his 64th birthday.
  • Jerry Millner (born July 5, 1847) was a British shooter who represented Great Britain and Ireland at the 1908 Summer Olympics. He won a gold medal in the Free rifle at 1000 yards. At the time he was 61 years and 4 days old.
  • Lorna Johnstone was the oldest woman to compete in the Olympics. British rider who participated in Equestrian at the 1972 Olympic Games at 70 years and 5 days old.
  • Sybil “Queenie” Newall became the oldest woman ever to win an Olympic gold medal in 1908; British archery winner aged 53 years, 275 days.

Archery

  • Darrell Pace (born 23 Oct 1956) - A four-time Olympian, Darrell Pace broke five Olympic records at the 1976 and 1984 Games and won two Individual titles. USA.
  • Kim Soo Nyung (born 5 Apr 1971) - Kim Soo-Nyung is recognised as one of the outstanding female archers of her generation and is the most decorated woman in the sport’s history. South Korean.

Athletics

  • Alice Coachman First African American Gold Medalist
  • Ann Packer (GBR) - 800m Gold, 1964 Tokyo
  • Ben Johnson Born Jamaica, emigrated to Canada 1976. 1988 Summer Olympics, won gold 100m and two bronze. Medals were rescinded, he was disqualified.
  • Betty Cuthbert - Australian, won Gold 100m 1956 Melbourne, 400m Gold 1964 Tokyo
  • Bob Beamon - Long Jump 1968
  • Bruce Jenner (born October 28, 1949) - won the gold medal for decathlon in the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics. (USA).
  • Brenda Jones -AUS, 800m won Silver 1960 Rome
  • Carl Lewis - One of only four Olympians to win nine gold medals, Carl Lewis was among the greatest Olympic idols of the 20th century.
  • Cathy Freeman - AUS, won Gold 400m in Sydney, 2000; Bronze 1996 Atlanta
  • Daley Thompson Decathalon
  • Debbie Flintoff-King AUS - won Gold, 400m hurdles 1988 Seoul
  • Evelyn Ashford - the only female athlete in America track history to have won four Olympic gold medals. She set an Olympic record at the Los Angeles 1984 Games when she won the 100 metres in under 11 seconds, and also won a gold medal at the age of 35 in the Women's 4 x 100m relay.
  • Fanny Blankers-Koen - best known for winning four gold medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. One of the finest all-round athletes in history, Fanny Blankers-Koen remains the only woman to win four Athletics gold medals at a single Olympic Games.
  • Florence Griffith Joyner - 100m and 200m 1988
  • Hannes Petter Kolehmainen Finnish long distance runner winning 4 gold and 1 silver (Gold Marathon 1920 Anthwerp)
  • Jacobus Franciscus "Jim" Thorpe (May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953) - won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon
  • James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was an American track and field athlete who specialized in the sprints and the long jump. He won 4 gold medals, one each in 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 4X100 meter relay and long jump at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics
  • Kelly Holmes 800m and 1500m 2004
  • Lisa Martin AUS - won silver, marathon 1988 Seoul
  • Liz McColgan
  • Mary Decker 3000m 1984
  • Michael Johnson - Men's 400m Record holder 43.49 - USA 1996
  • Marjorie Jackson - Australia. Won 100m Gold in 1952, Helsinki.
  • Babe Didrikson Zaharias won two gold medals and one silver medal for track and field in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
  • Nadezhda Olizarenko Women's 800m Record holder 1:53.43, Soviet Union, 1980 Moscow
  • Paavo Nurmi - won 5 gold medals (1500m, 3000 m Team, 5000m, Cross 10000 m Individual and Team). 1924 Paris
  • Raelene Boyle AUS - won silver medal 100m 1968 Mexico City; silver medal 100m 1972 Munich
  • Sir Roger Bannister (born 23 March 1929) best known for running the first mile in less than 4 minutes. Gold 1954 1 mile Vancouver and Gold 1954 1500 metres; also Bronze 800m Brussels 1950.
  • Sir Sebastian Coe won Gold Medal 1500m in 1984 Los Angeles; 1980 Gold Medal 1500m in Moscow.
  • Sally McLellan AUS - 100m hurdles Silver medal, 2008 Beijing
  • Spiridon Louis (12 Jan 1873- 26 Mar 1940) in Greece. Won the first Olympic Marathon in 1896 in 2:58:50 (on a 40K course) He was a 24 year old shepherd at the time.

Spiridon Louis’ Grandson Talks About His Grandfather

  • Vebjørn Rodal - Men's 800 metres Record Holder 1:42.58 - Norway 1996 Atlanta
  • Ville Ritola took 4 gold medals (3000 m Team, 10000m, Cross 10000 m Team and 3000 m Steeplechase) and 2 silver (5000m and Cross 10000 m Individual). Paris 1924
  • Waldemar Cierpinski 2 gold medals - men's marathon

Badminton

  • Zhang Ning - Zhang Ning is a double Olympic gold medallist and the only player to win consecutive Badminton Singles titles at the Games.
  • Alan Budikusuma - Alan Budikusuma was among the leading badminton players in the world from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, picking up numerous titles including Olympic gold.

Basketball

  • Teresa Edwards - Teresa Edwards holds the record as both the youngest and the oldest Olympic gold medallist in women’s Basketball.
  • Michael Jordan - Michael Jordan’s remarkable achievements throughout a long and illustrious career make him one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
  • Walter Herrmann - 2004

Beach Volleyball

  • Natalie Cook - Cook first competed in a Games at Atlanta 1996, with Kerri Pottharst. They became the first team to win an Olympic Beach Volleyball medal when they won bronze.
  • Kerri Pottharst - Pottharst first competed in a Games at Atlanta 1996, with Natalie Cook. They became the first team to win an Olympic Beach Volleyball medal when they won bronze.
  • Ricardo Santos - Nicknamed ‘The Wall’, Ricardo Santos has won more medals than anyone else in men’s Beach Volleyball, marking him out as a true star.

Boxing

  • Muhammad Ali/Casius Clay - Before boxer Muhammad Ali became one of the most famous people in the world, he won gold in the Light Heavyweight event at the Rome 1960 Games.
  • Teofilo Stevenson - Teofilo Stevenson is one of only three men to win three Olympic Games Boxing gold medals, with triumphs in the Heavyweight division at consecutive Games.

Canoe Slalom

  • Peter and Pavol Hochschorner- Twin brothers Pavol and Peter Hochschorner have won Olympic gold at three consecutive Olympic Games in the men's C2 Slalom event.
  • Štěpánka Hilgertová Štěpánka Hilgertová has competed in the K1 event at five Olympic Games, winning gold medals at two of them.

Canoe Sprint

  • Birgit Fischer- Birgit Fischer’s achievements in kayaking makes her one of the greatest Olympians of all time.
  • Gert Fredriksson - The most successful male canoeist in history, Sweden’s Gert Fredriksson won a total of eight Olympic medals.

Cycling - BMX

  • Anne-Caroline Chausson - Anne-Caroline Chausson won the inaugural women’s Olympic BMX event at the Beijing 2008 Games.
  • Maris Strombergs - Maris Strombergs was the winner of the first ever men’s Olympic BMX event, which took place at the Beijing 2008 Games

Cycling - Mountain Bike

  • Gunn-Rita Dahle Fiesja - A multiple European and World Championship winner, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja won the women’s Mountain Bike competition at Athens 2004.
  • Julien Absdalon - Julien Absalon is the only man to have won two gold medals in Olympic Mountain Bike.

Cycling - Road

  • Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel - Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel dominated women’s cycling during the 1990s, but had to wait until Sydney 2000 before landing her first Olympic gold medals.
  • Paolo Bettini - Paolo Bettini of Italy won the men’s Individual Road Race at Athens 2004 to take his place among the greatest Olympic road cyclists of all time.
  • Bradley Wiggins (born 28 April 1980) is a British professional track and road cyclist, riding for the UCI ProTeam Team Sky. He won the 2012 Tour de France, becoming the first British winner in its 99 year history. He is also the only cyclist to have won both a Grand Tour and a gold medal in Olympic track cycling.

Cycling - Track

  • Chris Boardman Cycling 1992
  • Felicia Ballanger - A triple Olympic champion, Felicia Ballanger was among the strongest track sprinters of the 1990s.
  • Jens Fiedler - Jens Fiedler’s five medals make him one of the most decorated Olympic cyclists of all time.
  • Knud Enemark Jensen 1960

Diving

  • Fu Mingxia - Fu Mingxia competed at Barcelona 1992 and became the youngest ever medal winner at the age of just 13.
  • Gregory Louganis - Regarded as one of the greatest divers of all time, Greg Louganis’ Olympic medals sit alongside 47 national championships and six world championships.

Equestrian

  • Bill Roycroft (1915- 2011) pioneer of equestrian sport in Australia - Gold - 1960 Rome
  • Hans Günter Winkler - Hans Günter Winkler is the only jumper to ever wn five Olympic gold medals and one of only four athletes to compete and win medals at six Games.
  • Reiner Klimke - Reiner Klimke's six gold and two bronze Dressage medals over six different Games make him the most decorated rider in Olympic history.

Fencing

  • Aladar Gerevich 1932-1960
  • Edoardo Mangiarotti - The most decorated fencer in the history of the sport, Edoardo Mangiarotti won a record 13 medals in a 24-year Olympic Games career.
  • Ilona Elek - Ilona Elek competed in her first Olympic Games at Berlin 1936 and took home a gold medal in the Foil event.

Football

  • Mia Hamm - The most dominant women's football player of the 1990s, Mia Hamm has been an inspiration to young players around the world.
  • Patrick Mboma - Patrick Mboma led Cameroon on a thrilling and unexpected run during Sydney 2000 to take the men's Football gold medal.

Gymnastics - Artistic

  • Mary Lou Retton (born January 24, 1968) - American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist, the first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title.
  • Nadia Elena Comaneci was the first gymnast to get a perfect score at the Olympics, she was also the youngest to win the all-around title at only 14 years old during the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
  • Nikolai Andrianov - Before Michael Phelps’ heroics at Beijing 2008, Soviet gymnast Nikolai Andrianov had tasted Olympic success more times than any other male athlete in history.
  • Larissa Latynina - One of the greatest Olympians ever, Larissa Latynina won 18 medals between Melbourne 1956 and Tokyo 1964.

Gymnastics - Rhythmic

  • Alina Kabaeva Alina Kabaeva is one of the most decorated rhythmic gymnasts in the history of the discipline.
  • Natalia Lavrova Natalia Lavrova was Russia's first rhythmic gymnast to win two Olympic gold medals

Handball

  • Andrey Lavrov Andrey Lavrov was the first three-time Olympic Handball champion and is the only athlete to have won Olympic gold medals for three different national teams.
  • Anja Andersen Widely considered to be among the best handball players of all time, Anja Andersen won a gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

Hockey

  • Rechelle Hawkes Rechelle Hawkes made her Olympic debut at Seoul 1988 and won the first of three gold medals as Australia beat the Republic of Korea in the final.
  • Dhyan Chand Dhyan Chand came to prominence with the Indian army team in 1926 before going on to score over 1,000 goals in a career spanning 22 years.

Judo

  • Ryoko Tani Ryoko Tani was only 16 years old when she won a silver medal in the 48kg event at Barcelona 1992.
  • David Douillet David Douillet’s amazing natural physique combined with his competitive nature translated into a glittering Olympic career in the Heavyweight event.

Modern Pentathlon

  • Stephanie Cook Stephanie Cook has the honour of being the first ever female Olympic gold medallist in Modern Pentathlon.
  • Andras Balczo Regarded as one of the greatest male pentathletes of all time, Andras Balczo won three Olympic gold medals as well as 10 World Championship titles.

Rowing

  • Matthew Clive Pinsent (born 10 Oct 1970) During his rowing career, he won 10 world championship gold medals and four consecutive Olympic gold medals Personal web page
  • Sir Steve Redgrave Steve Redgrave was the first athlete to win gold medals at five successive Olympic Games in an endurance sport.
  • Elisabeta Oleniuc-Lipa

The only rower to win Olympic gold medals 20 years apart, Elisabeta Oleniuc-Lipa represented Romania at six Olympic Games, winning at least one medal at each.

Sailing

  • Ben Ainslie - laser Fleet sailing 2000
  • Paul Elvstrom - A Danish sailing legend, Paul Elvstrom won four Olympic gold medals over his 40-year Games career.
  • Shirley Robertson Shirley Robertson is one of the greatest female Olympic sailors in history, competing in four Olympic Games.

Shooting

  • Maria Grozdeva Maria Grozdeva is among Bulgaria’s most successful athletes at the Olympics Games, winning a total of five medals in four Games.
  • Ralf Schumann Ralf Schumann’s competitive shooting career began in 1977 and he was still competing at the highest level at Beijing 2008, 31 years later.

Swimming

  • Jenny Thompson Jenny Thompson’s 12 Olympic medals make her the most successful female Olympian to ever compete in the pool.
  • Dawn Fraser AO, MBE. Dawn Fraser won the gold medal for the 100m freestyle in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics and was the first swimmer to win the same event at three consecutive Olympics. She won a total of four gold medals. In winning these four medals, she set two world records and two Olympic records.
  • Shane Gould MBE, Shane Gould competed at the 1972 Munich Games as a 16 year old. She won gold medals in the 200m individual medley, 200m and 400m freestyle. All her gold medals were won in world record times. She also won silver in the 800m freestyle and bronze in the 100m freestyle.
  • Joan Harrison born 29 November 1035 in East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa, Won Olympic Gold medal for 100m backstroke, 1952 Helsinki.
  • Murray Rose AM. Murray Rose competed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the 1960 Rome Olympics. In 1956 he won three gold medals - the 400m, 1500m and 4x200m freestyle. in 1960 he won a further three medals - gold in the 400m freestyle, silver in the 1500m freestyle and bronze in the 4x200m freestyle.
  • Stephanie Rice OAM Won 3 x Gold Medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
  • Eric the Eel Swimming 2000
  • '*Mark Spitz One of the greatest swimmers of all time, Mark Spitz won seven gold medals at the Munich 1972 Games, each in a world-record time. World swimmer of the year. 1977 Inducted into the International Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida as an honor swimmer. Inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, with first class of Inductees.
  • Michael Phelps (born 30 June 1985) - an American swimmer who has, overall, won 16 Olympic medals—six gold and two bronze at Athens in 2004, and eight gold at Beijing in 2008, becoming the most successful athlete at both of these Olympic Games editions.
  • Rebecca Adington OBE (GBR) won Gold in the Women's 400m and 800m Freestyle events aged 18, breaking the 800m Freestyle world Record in the process.

Synchronised Swimming

Table Tennis

  • Guoliang Lui - broke into the Chinese national table tennis team at the age of just 15 and went on to become a double Olympic champion.
  • Yaping Deng - overcame her diminutive stature to dominate female table tennis during the 1990s.

Taekwondo

  • Sun Hee Lee Sun made history at Sydney 2000 by becoming the first Olympic Taekwondo champion.
  • Kyong Hyun Kim Kyong Hyun Kim won the inaugural +80kg Taekwondo event at the Sydney 2000 Games.

Tennis

  • Charlotte Cooper Charlotte Reinagle Cooper (22 September 1870 – 10 October 1966) She won the tennis singles at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, France where women were allowed to participate for the first time. (Medals were not awarded until the 1904 Summer Olympics).
  • Reginald Doherty (14 October 1872 - 29 December 1910) Doherty won the doubles title (gold medals were not given at the 1900 Games) at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris with his brother. He also competed in the singles tournament and reached the semi-final where he was scheduled to play against his brother. Reggie withdrew, since the brothers refused to play each other before the final[4]. He also won the mixed doubles title with five-time Wimbledon champion Charlotte Cooper. Doherty did not compete in the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis. In the 1908 Olympics in London Reggie again won the doubles title, this time with compatriot George Hillyard.
  • Steffi Graf - German tennis legend who was ranked world number one for a record 378 weeks – just one of her many achievements. Won a gold medal at Seoul Olympics
  • Nicholas Massu - completed an impressive double at the Athens 2004 Games when he won both the Singles and Doubles competitions.
  • Helen Wills Moody won two Olympic gold medals in Paris in 1924 (singles and doubles), the last year that tennis was an Olympic sport until 1988
  • Hubert Louis Umberto Luigi Baron de Morpurgo - World’s 9th (1928), 10th (1929), 8th (1930) American Bill Tilden ranked him 10th in the world (1924), 6th (1929). Junior champion in Great Britain (1911), student champion Paris (1915). Italy’s # 1 ranked player (1927), (1929-1931). American Tennis magazine labeled Baron de Morpurgo “the Tilden of his country.”

Trampoline

  • Alexander Moskalenko Alexander Moskalenko won the first gold medal in men’s Trampoline when the discipline was added to the Olympics in 2000 – despite having retired four years earlier.
  • Karen Cockburn Karen Cockburn has won a medal at every Olympic Trampoline competition since its introduction in 2000.

Triathlon

Volleyball

  • Charles Kiraly Regarded as one of the greatest volleyball players ever, Kiraly won Olympic gold medals in both of the sport’s disciplines.
  • Regla Torres At 1.91m tall, Regla Torres seemed a natural for the sport of volleyball.

Water Polo

  • Brenda Villa - One of the most decorated players in the history of women’s water polo, Brenda Villa has won a medal at each of the three Water Polo competitions since 2000.
  • Dezső Gyarmati - Dezső Gyarmati is widely considered one of the greatest water polo players of all time.

Weightlifting

  • Chen Yanqing - Chen Yanqing was the first woman to win gold medals in Weightlifting in two consecutive Olympic Games.
  • Pyrros Dimas - At the Barcelona 1992 Games the 20-year-old, competing in the 82.5kg weight class, won Greece’s first Olympic Weightlifting gold since 1904.
  • Vasily Alekseyev Soviet weightlifter - generally regarded as the greatest exponent of super-heavyweight lifting in history. He won two Olympic gold medals (Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976) during an 8 year unbeaten spell that began in 1960. He set an incredible 80 world records during his career.

Wrestling

  • Aleksandr Karelin - one of only four male wrestlers to have won three Olympic gold medals.
  • Aleksandr Karelin Men's 120kg Greco Roman wrestling
  • Irini Merleni - became the first women’s Wrestling gold medal winner when the sport debuted on the Olympic programme at Athens 2004.

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