Historical List of the Oldest Living Olympians


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All original content © 2018 Paul Tchir.

Below is a historical list of individuals who have held the title of "Oldest Living Olympian", organized from earliest to most recent. This table is not sortable currently.

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Last update: December 15, 2018.

Olympian Oldest from... Oldest to... Country Sport Olympic year(s) Gold Silver Bronze Total Date of birth Date of death Age at death
Robert Backhouse No earlier than June 30, 1939* April 10, 1940 Great Britain Archery 1908 Rome 0 0 0 0 March 10, 1854 April 10, 1940 86 years, 31 days
Henri Léon Gréber April 10, 1940 1941 France Art competitions 1924 Paris 0 0 0 0 May 28, 1854 1941 86 years, 218 days - 87 years, 217 days
William, Lord Desborough 1941 January 9, 1945 Great Britain Fencing 1906 Athens 0 1 0 1 October 30, 1855 January 9, 1945 89 years, 71 days
George Elcock January 9, 1945 February 10, 1946 Great Britain Art competitions 1932 Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 March 26, 1856 February 10, 1946 89 years, 320 days
Sidney Merlin February 10, 1946 1952 Great Britain Sport shooting 1896 Athens, 1900 Paris, 1906 Athens 1 0 1 2 April 26, 1856 1952 95 years, 250 days - 96 years, 249 days
John Keyworth 1952 April 24, 1954 Great Britain Archery 1908 Rome 0 0 0 0 May 9, 1859 April 24, 1954 94 years, 350 days
Thomas Fremantle April 24, 1954 July 9, 1956 Great Britain Sport shooting 1908 Rome 0 0 0 0 February 5, 1862 July 9, 1956 94 years, 165 days
Louis Sparre July 9, 1956 October 26, 1964 Sweden Fencing 1912 Stockholm 0 0 0 0 August 3, 1863 October 26, 1964 101 years, 84 days
Charles Morris Young October 26, 1964 November 14, 1964 United States Art competitions 1928 Amsterdam, 1932 Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 September 23, 1869 November 14, 1964 95 years, 52 days
Leonie Taylor November 14, 1964 July 3, 1966 United States Archery 1904 St. Louis 1 0 0 1 March 1870 July 3, 1966 96 years, 94-124 days
Charlotte Cooper July 3, 1966 October 10, 1966 Great Britain Tennis 1900 Paris 2 0 0 2 September 22, 1870 October 10, 1966 96 years, 18 days
Teotan Lebedev October 10, 1966 November 1, 1966 Russia Sport shooting 1912 Stockholm 0 0 0 0 November 2, 1871 November 1, 1966 94 years, 364 days
George Stuart Robertson November 1, 1966 January 29, 1967 Great Britain Athletics, tennis 1896 Athens 0 0 1 1 May 25, 1872 January 29, 1967 94 years, 249 days
Gerhard Gyllenhammar January 29, 1967 September 16, 1968 Sweden Art competitions 1936 Berlin 0 0 0 0 February 7, 1873 September 16, 1968 95 years, 222 days
Mary Wesselhoeft September 16, 1968 March 23, 1971 United States Art competitions 1932 Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 February 15, 1873 March 23, 1971 98 years, 36 days
Lucien Démanet March 23, 1971 March 16, 1979 France Gymnastics 1904 St. Louis, 1920 Antwerp 0 0 0 0 December 6, 1874 March 16, 1979 104 years, 100 days
Rudy Schrader March 16, 1979 January 18, 1981 United States Gymnastics 1904 St. Louis 0 0 0 0 March 17, 1875 January 18, 1981 105 years, 307 days
Dirk Janssen January 18, 1981 November 22, 1986 Netherlands Gymnastics 1908 London 0 0 0 0 July 11, 1881 November 22, 1986 105 years, 134 days
Seibo Kitamura November 22, 1986 March 4, 1987 Japan Art competitions 1932 Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 December 16, 1884 March 4, 1987 102 years, 78 days
Jean Elichagaray March 4, 1987 June 8, 1987 France Rowing 1912 Stockholm 0 0 0 0 September 3, 1886 June 8, 1987 100 years, 278 days
Willem Winkelman June 8, 1987 July 1, 1990 Netherlands Athletics 1908 London 0 0 0 0 July 14, 1887 July 1, 1990 102 years, 352 days
Ole Aarnæs July 1, 1990 February 3, 1992 Norway Athletics 1912 Stockholm 0 0 0 0 May 27, 1888 February 3, 1992 103 years, 252 days
Jalmari Kivenheimo February 3, 1992 October 29, 1994 Finland Gymnastics 1912 Stockholm 0 1 0 1 September 25, 1889 October 29, 1994 105 years, 34 days
Franciszek Strynkiewicz October 29, 1994 November 20, 1996 Poland Art competitions 1932 Los Angeles, 1948 London 0 0 0 0 September 15, 1893 November 20, 1996 103 years, 66 days
Nic Roeser November 20, 1996 July 27, 1997 Luxembourg Gymnastics 1928 Amsterdam 0 0 0 0 November 8, 1896 July 27, 1997 100 years, 261 days
Hal Haig Prieste July 27, 1997 April 15, 2001 Norway Sailing 1936 Berlin 0 0 1 1 November 23, 1896 April 15, 2001 104 years, 143 days
Alida van den Bos April 15, 2001 July 16, 2003 United States Gymnastics 1928 Amsterdam 1 0 0 1 January 18, 1902 July 16, 2003 101 years, 179 days
James Stillman Rockefeller July 16, 2003 August 10, 2004 United States Rowing 1924 Paris 1 0 0 1 June 8, 1902 August 10, 2004 102 years, 63 days
Carlo Testi August 10, 2004 November 12, 2005 Italy Art competitions 1932 Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 November 27, 1902 November 12, 1905 102 years, 350 days
Erna Sondheim November 12, 2005 January 9, 2008 Germany Fencing 1928 Amsterdam 0 0 0 0 February 17, 1904 January 9, 2008 103 years, 326 days
Signe Johansson-Engdahl January 9, 2008 May 9, 2010 Sweden Diving 1924 Paris 0 0 0 0 May 27, 1905 May 9, 2010 104 years, 347 days
Walter Walsh May 9, 2010 April 29, 2014 United States Sport shooting 1948 London 0 0 0 0 May 4, 1907 April 29, 2014 106 years, 360 days
Hans Erni April 29, 2014 March 21, 2015 Switzerland Art competitions 1948 London 0 0 0 0 February 21, 1909 March 21, 2015 106 years, 28 days
Guo Jie March 21, 2015 November 15, 2015 China Athletics 1936 Berlin 0 0 0 0 January 16, 1912 November 15, 2015 103 years, 303 days
Ingeborg Sjöqvist November 15, 2015 November 22, 2015 Sweden Diving 1932 Los Angeles, 1936 Berlin 0 0 0 0 April 19, 1912 November 22, 2015 103 years, 217 days
Simone Schaller November 22, 2015 October 20, 2016 United States Athletics 1932 Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 August 22, 1912 October 20, 2016 104 years, 59 days
John Lysak October 20, 2016 Still living United States Canoeing 1936 Berlin 0 0 0 0 August 16, 1914 Still living 104 years, 121 days

*There are two candidates for Oldest Living Olympian prior to Robert Backhouse:

1. Emily Rushton, who competed in archery at the 1908 Games for Great Britain, was born sometime in 1850 and died June 30, 1939. Since her christening took place on March 4, 1850, she was definitely the Oldest Living Olympian at some point in her life.

2. John Butt, who competed in sport shooting at the 1908 and 1912 Olympics for Great Britain was born on October 30, 1850 and died at some point in 1939. He was, therefore, definitely younger than Rushton but, if he died after June 30, then he was the Oldest Living Olympian from then until his own death.

© 2018 Paul Tchir