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The Flying housewife, London Summer Olympics

Claim to Fame

Date of occurrence:


Francina “Fanny” Else Blankers-Koen won the first gold medal for Netherlands at an athletics event in the 1948 Olympics, managing to win 4 gold medals at that Olympics.

The Full Story

Just after the Second World War, at the 1948 a Dutch woman has revolutionized the way people think about the women who participated in athletics events. Francina “ Fanny” Else Blankers-Koen, a thirty years old Dutch women decided to participate at the Summer Olympics held in London, although at that time, may disregarded women’s athletics.

Fanny, mother of two, managed to do wonders at that Olympics and change the point of view regarding the female athletes, although many, and in that category we can include some of her compatriots stated that she should stay at home to look after her children and leave behind her Olympic dreams. Her first Olympic event was a at 100 meters, where she managed to win the semi-final and qualify trough the final, setting the fastest time in trials on that instance.

The final for the 100 meters event took place a day after the semi-final and the condition were awful. It was a rainy day, thing that made the track look more like one made for dirt events. Regarding this minor disadvantages, on a very muddy track Fanny Blankers-Koen managed  to easily beat her opponents. The Dutch team looked shocked! Fanny was the first Dutch athlete to win an Olympic title in athletics. She, a thirty years old mother of two! Astonishing performance for the one who will latter be called as the flying housewife.

Her second event in which she participated was at 80 meters hurdles, where she managed once again to qualify in the final. In the final race, she had a bad start, put she kept her concentration and picked her pace managing to win the event at photo finish. She latter declared that she thought it was a bad start, that’s why she had the bad start.

After the event she got homesick for a while, but after a talk with her husband she managed to regain her strength and concentrate on the next event in which she participated. Her next event was the final at 200 meters and the crowed started to observe and sympathize this amazing athlete in front of their eyes. In the day of the final she was in peak condition and with no surprise, she managed to win the vent. In fact, she managed to do that in a staggering manor. She won the vent at seven tents of a second before the runner-up, this thing still being the largest margin victory at an Olympic 200 meters final.

Fanny’s last final was at 4X100 meters and she arrived just in time to participate at this event for Netherlands, after she previously went shopping and bought herself a nice jacket. What can I say, girls will be girls! The race started and when it was her time to run, her compatriot left her in the third place. With a superhuman effort, she managed to caught up with her competitors, thing that was crucial for Nederland and thing who brought up another gold medal, her forth at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

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