Fanny Blankers-Koen

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Francina Elsje Koen

Also Known As: "Fanny Blankers-Koen", ""the Flying Housewife""
Birthdate: (85)
Birthplace: Lage Vuursche, UT, Netherlands
Death: Died in Hoofddorp, NH, Netherlands
Place of Burial: Hoofddorp, NH, Netherlands
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Arnoldus Koen and Helena Houtkooper
Wife of Johan (Jan) Blankers

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Immediate Family

About Fanny Blankers-Koen

Fanny Blankers-Koen was a Dutch athlete, best known for winning four gold medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. She accomplished this as a 30 year old mother of two, during a time when many disregarded women's athletics. Her background and performances earned her the nickname "the Flying Housewife." She was the most successful athlete at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

Having started competing in athletics in 1935, she took part in the 1936 Summer Olympics a year later. Although international competition was hampered by World War II, Blankers-Koen set several world records during that period, in events as diverse as the long jump, the high jump, and sprint and hurdling events.

Apart from her four Olympic titles, she won five European titles and 58 Dutch championships, and set or tied 12 world records – the last, pentathlon, in 1951 aged 33. She retired from athletics in 1955, after which she became captain of the Dutch female track and field team. In 1999, she was voted "Female Athlete of the Century" by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Her Olympic victories are credited with helping to demolish the convention that age and motherhood were a barrier to success in women's sport.

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Fanny Blankers-Koen's Timeline

April 26, 1918
Lage Vuursche, UT, Netherlands
January 25, 2004
Age 85
Hoofddorp, NH, Netherlands
January 29, 2004
Age 85
Hoofddorp, NH, Netherlands