In commemoration of #Armistice100 – Playing Pasts takes a look at 7 sports stars born during this week between 1914-18
British high jumper John Lunn “Jack” Newman was born in Rochester on this day in 1916. Winner of the London AC Schools’ high jump in 1933, Jack was the AAA Junior champion in 1934. Affiliated to the London Athletic Club he won the AAA high jump in 1937 and 1939 and was the indoor champion three times (1936-37, 1939). At the 1936 Games he cleared 1:80m placing 24th overall. He missed the 1938 Indoor Championships as he was in Australia where he placed fifth at the British Empire Games. In the 1937 match vs. Norway his second place in the high jump prevented the host country taking maximum points in every field event. After the war, Newman placed third at the AAA Championships in 1946. he served with the RAF from 1940-46 and then resumed his career with Lloyd’s Bank. He died aged 57 on 14th February 1974 in West Sussex.
Carla Marangoni, Itlaian Gymnast was born today in 1915 in Pavia. Carla was only 12 when, as a member of the Italian team, she won a silver medal in the gymnastic all-around event at the 1928 Summer Olympics. This represented the first Olympic medal won by an Italian woman. She and her teammates had trained locally in their native Pavia and had few resources, but had nonetheless qualified to represent Italy at the Games. Upon their return, they were congratulated personally by Benito Mussolini. This was her only major achievement in the sport and, with no professional opportunities, she gave up the sport several years after the Games. Carla eventually studied to be an accountant, working for the Pavia Transportation Department before and during World War II. It was this occupation that led to her being one of the first women in Italy to obtain a driving license. She lived to be the last-known surviving competitor from the 1928 Summer Games, outliving even the last-known survivor of the 1932 Games Simone Schaller and was also the Olympian who lived the longest after her Olympic appearance. Just before her death on 18th January 2018 at 102 years of age she was oldest Olympic medallist still alive.
Jerzy Bandura, who was born in Poland on this day in 1915, took part in the Art competition at the 1948 Games. He studied from 1934-39 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. Here he was an assistant professor and lecturer and was appointed full professor in 1958. He worked in multiple media, including sculptures, monuments, medals, woodcuts, glass art, mosaics, but also furniture. He also created sports sculptures and others for churches but was primarily known for his monuments (including monument of Nazi victims in Skalbmierz) and monumental sculptures. He was a founding member of the Krakow Group of Nine Graphic Artists.. In 1947, he received a prize in an international competition for a UN themed poster. At the 1948 Olympic art competition he received an Honorable Mention for his sculpture “Crawl” His woodcuts and poster designs show traces of expressionism and in 1986 he became a member of the National Grunwald Committee. He passed away on 19th October at the age of 71 in Krakow.
The wonderfully named Gabriele Adelheid Maria Leopoldine Zeilinger, who was born today in 1917, in Austria. A fencer, she was affiliated to the Wiener Fechtclub, Vienna, at the Austrian championships in 1947 she finished second in the individual foil competition and third in 1948 and 1949. While in the team foil events she became Austrian Champion in 1950, 51 and 52. She competed at the 1948 Olympic Games in London where, after winning her group, she was placed in 6th placed overall. She died aged 93 on 6th July 2011.
British 800m runner Charles Thomas “Tom” White was born on this day in 1917 in Brigg, Lincolnshire He may easily have been a “crack” track cyclist had he not taken up running to keep fir while stationed in Jerusalem in 1942. Before the second world war he was a keen time-trialist and won the Lincolnshire County 25 miles Championship in 1940. He quickly made his mark in Middle East athletics, winning the 400m and 800m open championships of Egypt in 1944 and ’45 where he broke the Egyptian All-comers 800m record – setting a time of 1;56.4. He went on to win the AAA half mile in 1:53.8 in 1947. His first and only technical coach was Michael Hadjidimitriou, Professor of Physical Education for the Greek schools in Alexandria. Back in the UK he was affiliated to the Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club and Appleby Frodingham SC. He worked as a clerk in a steel works and trained in his spare time, with his father acting as his time-keeper and masseur. He finished in 5th place at both the 1946 European Championships 800m and at the 1950 British Empire Games 880 yards and 1 mile. Olympic wise he competed at 1948 in London and 1952 in Helsinki – not progressing to the final stages at either Games. His personal best of 1:51.5 was set in 1946. He died at the age of 67 in Scunthorpe on 30th January 1985.
Samuel Cromwell “Sam” Richardson, Canadian long and triple-jumper was born in 1917 in Ontario. He was of African American descent and the son of a World War 1 veteran. At the 1934 British Empire Games he won the long jump gold and silver in the triple jump, he was only 17 and one of the youngest in the competition at the time and still a student at Central Tech. He competed at the 1936 Olympics in three events – the 4x100m relay where the Canadians finished in 5th place and pitted Sam against his hero Jesse Owens, he was 14th in the long jump and 20th in the triple jump. He died in 1989.
Margit Csillik, Hungarian gymnast was born on this day in 1914 in Budapest, At the 1936 Olympics she was part of the Hungarian women’s team that won the all-round bronze medal, the hosts Germany took gold and the Czechoslovakians the silver. The Hungarian team had taken silver at the 1934 World’s. Affiliated to the TFSC club between 1934 and 1938 and the Postás club from 1939 to 1943 – in 1941, at the Vasutas Sport Club in Misolc, the Hungarian national championship took place and Margit won the individual title with Katalin Galaczy taking second place and Anna white, third. Mirgit died on 21st October 2007 in Budapest at the age of 92.