Monday, April 09, 2012

Olympian omission...

One Page In A Library of Millions draws our attention to a startling omission to Transport for London's redesign of the London Underground map as part of the Jubilympic celebrations. They missed out one of the most famous female athletes ever - the Flying Housewife - Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen who won four gold medals* at the 1948 London! Oh the irony! She was voted "Female Athlete of the Century" by the IAAF in 1999 and last month was made one of 12 inaugural members of the IAAF Hall of Fame. Royal Dutch Athletics Federation complained and TfL have apologised and will order reprints with a new map (more irony alert): TfL have said rather than dropping one of the 361 Olympians to make way for Blankers-Koen they would combine two Olympians on a single Tube station: US athlete Mary Decker and Zola Budd (oops).

* Fanny had decided to limit herself at those 1948 Olympics so she dropped the high jump and long (!!); she won four of the nine women's events. She was only the third person ever - and the first woman - to win four Olympic gold medals in a single Olympics.

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Paul said...

Thanks for the link. Fanny Blankers-Koen was one of those athletes I grew up hearing about and reading about as a child in the early 1960's, along with Jesse Owens and Sonia Henje (spelling?) who for some reason was featured rather heavily in a book of sports photographs I was given.

Span Ows said...

We were always a sporty family (and more sprinters than distant runners) so 'the name was known' in our house too although my mum was never a flyer :-)

Was Sonia a babe? No and back then the media didn't go in for the current over-reporting of any 'pleasing on the eye' athlete/sleb.