Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:55


Adolph Kiefer died this morning (5 May) at his home in Wadsworth, Illinois. He was 1 month shy of 99-years-old. Kiefer was the world’s greatest backstroker in the 1930s and won a gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in the 100 backstroke. At his death he was the seond oldest living Olympic medalist and gold medalist.

Our OlyMADMen group has one remarkable guy, Canadian Paul, actually known as Paul Tchir, whose hobby is studying the ages of Olympians and determining the oldest living this or that. He has a private Wikipedia page where he tracks these – see Canadian Paul/Olympics.

For the record here are the current oldest Olympian records, courtesy of Canadian Paul’s webpage.


Oldest Living Olympian / US Olympian

John Lysak       16 Aug 1914     None    USA      1936 WLT


Oldest Living Olympic Medalist

Clara Marangoni       13 Nov 1915     Silver      ITA 1928 GYM


Oldest Living Olympic Gold Medalist

Durward Knowles       02 Nov 1917     Gold      BAH/GBR Multiple SAI


Oldest Living US Olympic Medalist

John Russell       02 Feb 1920     Bronze      USA 1948 EQU


Oldest Living US Olympic Gold Medalist

Cliff Bourland       01 Jan 1921     Gold      USA 1948 ATH

For the record, besides Lysak, there is one other US Olympian still alive from the 1936 Berlin Olympics – Iris Cummings, a swimmer who was born 21 December 1920. Canadian Paul lists 9 Olympians in all still alive from those Games. There are no known Olympians alive from the 1932 Olympics, although Clara Marangoni (above) competed at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

Source: OlympStats