12th  William Attewell commonly known as Dick Attewell was born in 1861, a cricketer who played for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and England. Attewell was a medium pace bowler who was renowned for his extraordinary accuracy and economy. On the many sticky or crumbling pitches encountered in his prime Attewell could get on a great deal of spin so as to always beat the bat, whilst his accuracy would make slogging – the only way to make runs under such conditions – very difficult. He was responsible for the development of “off theory” – bowling wide of the off stump to a packed off-side field to frustrate batsmen on the rapidly improving pitches of the 1890s. At times Attewell was a useful batsman for his county, and he scored 102 against Kent in 1897. French pole vaulter Fernand Gonder was born today in 1883, he won the gold medal at the 1906 Intercalated Games and finished 15th at the 1912 Olympics. He was the French champion in 1904, 1905, 1913 and 1914, finishing second in 1912.  On this day in 1896 JT Hearne made cricket history for the earliest known/recorded taking of 100 first-class wickets in a season.  Marina Timofeyevna Semyonova, the first Soviet-trained Prima Ballerina was born on this day in 1908.  She worked in the Kirov Ballet until 1930 when Joseph Stalin had her and her husband Viktor Semyonov (they were namesakes) transferred to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Semyonova was guest with the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1935 where she danced Giselle with Serge Lifar.  She received the Stalin Prize for 1941 and retired in 1952. After that, she became one of the most important teachers and répétiteurs of the Bolshoi Theatre. Semyonova retired from her coaching duties at the age of 96. She is known for her friendship with young danseur Nikolay Tsiskaridze, who interviewed her on several occasions. She also has a daughter by elocutionist Vsevolod Aksyonov. She was named a People’s Artist of the USSR in 1975. In 2003, she won the Prix Benois de la Danse for lifetime achievement. In 2008, the Bolshoi Theatre celebrated Semyonova’s centenary. She died on 9 June 2010 in her home in Moscow, three days before her 102nd birthday. Wu Qingyuan, better known by the Japanese pronunciation of his name, Go Seigen, was a Chinese-born Japanese master of the game of Go, was born in 1914. He is considered by many players to have been the greatest Go player in the 20th century. Game of Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. In 1916 tennis legend Bill Tilden makes his first appearance at the US tennis championship.  On this day in 1930 in New York Max Schmelling of Germany became the first and only man to win the world heavyweight title on a disqualification. His opponent, American Jack Sharkey, was disqualified in the fourth round after committing a foul. Also born on this day in 1930, British engineer and motor racing driver, Robert McGregor Innes Ireland. He was a larger-than-life character who, according to a rival team boss, “lived without sense, without an analyst and provoked astonishment and affection from everyone”. He trained as an engineer with Rolls-Royce, first in Glasgow and later in London. Commissioned as a lieutenant in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, he served with the Parachute Regiment in the Suez Canal Zone during 1953 and 1954. Ireland began racing a Riley 9 in 1954. His first year of nationally-competitive events was 1957, by which time he was running a small engineering firm in Surrey. Success in sports car racing saw him make his F1 debut for Team Lotus in 1959. In 1960 he won three non-championship F1 races and finished fourth in the World Drivers Championship. Badly injured in the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix, he recovered to win the Solitude Grand Prix and Flugplatzrennen races, then finished the season with a victory in the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Despite these successes, he was sacked at the end of the season, team boss Colin Chapman considering Jim Clark a better bet. Despite occasional successes, Ireland never again had a car to match his talent, and he was encouraged by Bill France, founder of NASCAR, to participated in the 1967 Daytona 500, one of the last races of his career, where the V8 engine of his Dodge exploded outside the stands. A talented writer, Ireland produced a classic autobiography, All Arms and Elbows and worked as a journalist for the American Road & Track magazine, as well as skippering fishing trawlers in the North Atlantic. Towards the end of his life, he was elected president of the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club, which post he still held at the time of his death from cancer in 1993. On this day in 1939 shooting began on Paramount Pictures’ Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor. Today in 1942 a young lady named Anne Frank received a diary for his thirteenth birthday. The former Tottenham, Arsenal and Northern Ireland goal-keeper Pat Jennings was born in 1945. He started his career at Watford and went on to become the first British player to appear in 1000 first-class matches. He played in goal for Northern Ireland 119 times, a UK record until surpassed by England ‘keeper Peter Shilton.  Today in 1947 Babe Didrikson became the first American to win the British Women’s Amateur Golf Championship. Jennifer Jo Cobb, American professional stock car racing driver was born in 1973.  She has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series along with the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and currently competes in the latter series, driving for her own team Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing in the No. 10 Chevrolet Silverado. Today in 1979 American hang-glider pilot and bicyclist Bryan Allen won the second Kremer prize for a man powered flight across the English Channel.  His first, won in 1977, he piloted and provided the power for the Gossamer Condor, the first human-powered aircraft to gfly and meet specified criteria.  In 1979, he piloted the Gossamer Albatross, the first human-powered to cross the English Channel. He later set world distance and duration records in a small pedal-powered blimp named White Dwarf.  Queen Elizabeth II reopened the Globe Theatre in London on this day in 1997. Originally built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s playing company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, on land owned by Thomas Brend and inherited by his son, Nicholas Brend and grandson Sir Matthew Brend, the theatre was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.  A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed by an Ordinance issued on 6 September 1642. This modern reconstruction of the Globe, named “Shakespeare’s Globe”, is approximately 230m from the site of the original theatre. From 1909, the current Gielgud Theatre was called “Globe Theatre”, until it was renamed (in honour of John Gielgud) in 1994. The first women in the USA to receive a jockey’s licence, Anna Lee Aldred, died today in 2006 aged 85. She was born Anna Lee Mills in Montrose, Colorado in 1921, the daughter of a famous race horse trainer. After officials at Agua Caliente Racetrack in Mexico were unable to find a rule that would bar women jockeys, she was given a license at age 18 in 1939.  She lost her first professional race by a nose, but went on to win many races in state and country fairs. Six years later, having grown too tall at 5’5″ and weighing in at 118 pounds, she retired from horse-racing and began a second career as a trick rider in rodeos.  She married cattleman Wayne Aldred; that marriage later ended in divorce. Aldred was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas in 1983 and the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004. She continued riding until breaking her hip in 2001 and died in June 2006 in Montrose at the age of 85. In 2016 Cristiano Ronaldo became the first footballer to top the Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes List, earning $88 million.


13th  Paul Neumann, the first Austrian gold medallist, was born in 1875.  Neumann was Jewish, and born in Vienna. He competed in the 500m and 1,200m freestyle. At the 1896 Olympics he won the 500m with a time of 8:12.6, benefitting from the withdrawal of Alfréd Hajós from the event. Hajós had just won the 100m, and skipped the 500m in order to prepare for the 1,200m. Neumann had no opportunity to rest between the 500m and the 1,200m. As a result, he was unable to finish the longer race. In 1897, he set world records at 2, 3, 4, and 5 miles. He immigrated to the U.S. after the 1896 Olympic Games. There, he became a physician, and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy. What is regarded as the first ‘real’ motor race ended on the day in 1895. The first car to cross the line in the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race was a Panhard-Levassor driven by Emile Levassor at an average speed of 15mph (24 km/hr). One of the greatest long-distance runners of all time, Paavo Nurmi, was born in 1897. The Finn won a record 12 medals, including nine golds, in the three Olympics between 1920 and 1928.  On this day in 1908 Tommy Burns knocked out Bill Squires in the eighth to win the heavyweight boxing title. Donald Budge, the first man to achieve a Grand Slam in tennis, was born on this day in 1915. He performed the Grand Slam in 1938, the year in which he won the Wimbledon titel for the second successive year. A bizarre fact and one that makes you wonder what the parents at the time in America got up to – on this day in 1920 the US Post Office Department ruled that children may not be sent by parcel post! Today in 1925 Charles Jenkins demonstrated the transmission of synchronized pictures and sound – the earliest version of television.  At Trent Bridge in 1938 Stan McCabe made 232 against England.  The former four time world shot put record holder American Dallas Long was born today in 1940. He competed for the United States at the 1960 Olympics held in Rome, where he won bronze behind fellow Americans Bill Nieder and Parry O’Brien. He returned four years later to Tokyo for the 1964 Olympics where he won gold. Long became a dentist and a doctor and served as a witness in the Rodney King trial against the Los Angeles Police Department police officers Laurence Powell and Stacey Koon in early 1993. While a senior at North High School in Phoenix, Arizona, he set the  National High School Record in the Shot Put. He was Track and Field News “High School Athlete of the Year” in 1958. The Isle of Man TT races, held between 11th and 13th June, were dubbed the ‘British Grand Prix’ in 1949. The three races, at 500, 350 and 250cc, became the first races in the newly instituted world motor-cycling championships. Tony Knowles, snooker’s pin-up boy, was born in 1955.  Real Madrid beat Stade de Rheims 4-3 in Paris in 1956 to win the first European Cup. Jockey Peter Scudamore was born in 1958. The first National Hunt jockey to ride 200 winners in a season (1989), he was the champion jockey seven times in succession (1986-92). His total of more than 1500 winners makes him the most successful jump-jockey of all time. Cricketer Maninder Singh was born in Pune, Indian in 1965. He represented India in 35 Test matches and 59 One Day Internationals. Singh holds the Test record for the most tests in a complete career without aggregating 100 runs.  With his slow left-arm orthodox spin, Maninder was considered as an heir to Bishan Singh Bedi, who then held the record as India’s leading spinner in terms of wickets. Joseph Keter, Kenyan athlete, winner of 3000m steeplechase at the 1996 Olympics,  was born today in 1969, Born in Lessos, Nandi District, Keter, an officer of Kenyan Army, had only one good season throughout his athletics career, which culminated with an Olympic gold medal. In Atlanta, the hot favourite for 3000m steeplechase gold was Moses Kiptanui. But in the Olympic final, Kiptanui was strongly challenged by his Armed Forces’ colleague Keter. The Kenyan pair reached the final water jump side by side, but then Keter slowly edged ahead to win the gold medal by 1.11 seconds. After the Olympic Games, Keter beat Kiptanui again in Zürich, running his personal best 8.05.99. After that glorious season, Keter kept running for some seasons and won the IAAF Grand Prix in 3000m steeplechase in 1997. Today in 1970 “The Long and Winding Road” becomes The Beatles’ last U.S. number one song. Another exception athlete, Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopian long-distance runner and current world record and Olympic record holder in both the 5000m and 10,000m, was born in 1982. He took Gold in both of these events at the 2008 Olympics and he also won the 2004 Olympic title over 10,000m. He is the most accomplished runner in IAAF World Cross Country Championships history, with six long (12km) course and five short (4km) course titles. He won the 10,000m title at the Athletics World Championships in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009 (matching Haile Gebrselassie’s four in a row win streak). Kenenisa was unbeaten over 10,000m from his debut in 2003 until 2011, when he failed to finish at the World Championships final. At the 2009 World Championships he became the first man to win both 5000m and 10,000m title at the same championships. Over 5000m he has also won an Olympic silver (2004), World Championship bronze (2003), two African Championship titles and one All-Africa Games gold medal. He also won the 3000m title at the World Indoor Championships in 2006. Kenenisa is considered one of the greatest distance runners of all time, owning several world records and an array of medals. On 6 April 2014, he produced the sixth fastest marathon debut ever on a record eligible course with his victory at the Paris Marathon, in a course record time of 2:05:04. On 25 September 2016, Bekele won the 2016 Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:03:03 which set a new personal best time for him at the Marathon distance and the second fastest marathon of all time. Kaori Icho, Japanese freestyle wrestler, was born on this day in 1984. She is a ten-time World Champion and four-time Olympic Champion, winning gold in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Icho was undefeated between 2003 and 2016. On 29 January 2016 at the Golden Grand Prix Ivan Yarygin 2016 Icho lost to Orkhon Purevdorzh of Mongolia, this was her first loss. She is the first female in any sport to win individual-event gold at four consecutive Olympics.  On October 20th, 2016, she was awarded the People’s Honour Award by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for her achievements, the second wrestler to receive the highest award, after Saori Yoshida in 2012. She is the elder sister of double wrestling Olympic silver medallist Chiharu Icho. Simona Senoner, Italian cross-country racer and ski jumper was born in 1993. From 2008 to her death in 2011 she was a member of the Italian ski jumper team. At the time of her death she was competing in the Continental Cup meet. After suddenly falling ill in her hotel room, she was airlifted to University Medical Center Freiburg, where she was pronounced dead after about 24 hours. Initial tests indicated she may have died from a rapid onset of meningitis. As a tribute, all Italian winter sports athletes wore black armbands the following Sunday. Mohammed Saleh Al-Khilaiwi, footballer from Saudi Arabiaand arguably, the best Saudi defender that ever played football, died on this day in 2013 aged just 41. At the club level, he played mostly for Al-Ittihad in his home country. Between 1990 and 2001, Al-Khilaiwi played for Saudi Arabia national football team. He played a total of 142 games for the national team. He’s the 3rd overall among Saudi Arabians players with most caps. His name is also listed among the list of footballers with 100 or more caps. He played at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, where he was sent off against France. Zinedine Zidane was also sent off later inthe same match. He was a played in the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1992, 1995, 1997 and 1999. He also participated in the 1996 Olympics.  He died on the night of Thursday, 13 June 2013 in Al-Salam hospital in Jeddah, from heart failure


14th Welsh naturalist, traveller, writer and antiquarian Thomas Pennant was born on this day in 1726, he lived his whole life at his family estate, Downing Hall near Whitford, Flintshire in Wales. As a naturalist he had a great curiosity, observing the geography, geology, plants, animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish around him and recording what he saw and heard about. He wrote acclaimed books including British Zoology, the History of Quadrupeds, Arctic Zoology and Indian Zoology although he never travelled further afield than continental Europe. He knew and maintained correspondence with many of the scientific figures of his day. His books influenced the writings of Samuel Johnson. As an antiquarian, he amassed a considerable collection of art and other works, largely selected for their scientific interest. Many of these works are now housed at the National Library of Wales. As a traveller he visited Scotland and many other parts of Britain and wrote about them. Many of his travels took him to places that were little known to the British public and the travelogues he produced, accompanied by painted and engraved colour plates, were much appreciated. Each tour started at his home and related in detail the route, the scenery, the habits and activities of the people he met, their customs and superstitions and the wildlife he saw or heard about. He travelled on horseback accompanied by his servant, Moses Griffiths, who sketched the things they encountered, later to work these up into illustrations for the books. He was an amiable man with a large circle of friends and was still busily following his interests into his sixties. He enjoyed good health throughout his life and died at Downing at the age of seventy two. The first Henley Regatta on the Thames was started in 1839. Enthusiasts of rowing regard the event as a showcase for their sport, but in the public imagination it ranks with Ascot as an occasion for strawberries, champagne, top hats and expensive frocks. The chief event, the Grand Challenge Cup, remains one of the two most importance races rowed over the 2km course. The other, the Diamond Skulls, was first run in 1884. Hermanus Brockmann, Dutch rower, was born in 1871.At the 1900 Olympics he was part of the Dutch boats Minerva Amsterdam, which won the gold medal in the coxed pairs, the silver medal in the coxed fours and the bronze medal in the eights. He also competed in the semi-final of the coxed pairs. However, his 60kg weight was seen as a considerable disadvantage and he was replaced by an unknown local boy of 33kg. The crew went on to win the final narrowly beating the French team. Despite not racing the final Brockmann is considered a gold medallist by the IOC and is listed in their medal database.French fencer Léon Thiébaut was born in 1878. He participated in Fencing at the 1900 Olympics in Paris and won the silver medal in the sabre. He was defeated by Georges de la Falaise in the final. German backstroke and breaststroke swimmer Georg Zacharias was born in 1884. He won gold at the 1904 Olympics at 440yd breaststroke and bronze at 100yd backstroke.  On this day in 1907 women in Norway won the right to vote. Ivan Gubijan, Yugoslavian hammer thrower was born today in 1923.  He competed in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, coming second and ninth, respectively. He is credited with introducing the four-turn throwing technique, which is widely used today. Russian gymnastics coach Vladislav Stepanovich Rastorotsky was born on this day in 1933 The female gymnasts who were trained by him earned more than 50 Champion titles at the National (USSR) championships, European championships, World championships and Olympic Games. Rastorotsky trained Soviet gymnasts for five Olympic cycles from the mid-1960s. The most famous his students were Ludmilla Tourischeva, Natalia Shaposhnikova, Natalia Yurchenko. In the 1960s he began to coach Tourischeva. According to Rastorotsky, she initially had strong muscles but a weak gymnastics aptitude, as compared to other his students; he claimed that he never met a more industrious and purposeful student neither before nor after her. Rastorotsky’s other favourite student was Natalia Yurchenko, one of the strongest gymnasts of the early 1980s; he considered that she had “boundless charm, filigree skill, resolution and courage”. After the breakup of the USSR, Rastorotsky coached for some time in France and China. Steffi Graf, the girl who took over the mantle of the top woman player from Martina Navratilova, was born in 1969. German-born Steffi has won all four Grand Slam titles, including Wimbledon five times. Her first Grand Slam was achieved in 1988. Another gymnast, the Cuban-American Annia Portuondo Hatch was born in 1978, she competed for the United States at the 2004 Olympics.  Hatch began gymnastics in her native Cuba at the age of four. She won her first Cuban National Championships when she was ten, over the course of her career, she would go on to win the title seven times. In 1996 she became the first Cuban gymnast to win a medal at the World Championships, with a bronze in the vault. Hatch qualified to the 1996 Olympics as an individual competitor, but a lack of funding prevented the Cuban Olympic Committee from sending her. She retired in 1997; married an American, Alan Hatch; and moved to the United States. With her husband, she became a part-owner and coach of the Stars Academy gym in West Haven, Connecticut. She resumed training at the elite level in 2001, with her husband as her coach. In mid-2002, she won the US Classic, a qualifier to the National Championships, defeating reigning national champion Tasha Schwikert. She went on to come fourth at the Nationals, performing two strong vaults and establishing herself as a contender for a medal at the 2002 World Championships: Although Hatch was now a US citizen, Olympic rules stated that during the first year after obtaining citizenship in a new nation, an athlete needed permission from her former country of citizenship to represent the new one in international competition. Fidel Castro refused prompting American government officials and former President Jimmy Carter to petition Cuba, unsuccessfully, on her behalf. Because Cuba would not release her, Hatch had to wait until 2003 to represent the United States internationally. Hatch won the vault title at the 2003 National Championships and was named in the 2003 World Championships team, but tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) the day before the start of the competition. She returned to competition in the middle of 2004, in time for the National Championships and Olympic Trials, and was named in the US team for the 2004 Olympics. There she won silver in the team competition as well as silver in the individual vault, becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic vault medal since Mary Lou Retton in 1984. At old Trafford today in 1979 Canada recorded the lowest completed innings in cricket’s World Cup competition history when they were dismissed by England for just 45 runs off 40.3 overs.  Russian long-distance swimmer Yury Aleksandrovich Prilukov was born on this day in 1984. A five-time European champion (long course), eight-time European champion (short course) and five-time World Short Course Champion, he has also set three European records. At the 2004 Olympics Prilukov finished sixth in the 400m freestyle and fourth in the 1500m. At the 2008 Olympics he finished seventh in the 400m freestyle and fourth once again in the 1500m. Ulrich Inderbinen, who died today in 2004 aged 103, was almost certainly the oldest active mountain guide in the world. He climbed the Matterhorn for the 370th and last time in the summer before his 90th birthday; on the 125th anniversary of the first climb by Victorian mountaineer Edward Whymper. Inderbinen took just four hours to reach the summit, leaving men of less than half his age trailing in his wake.He reluctantly gave up ski guiding at 95, but he continued mountain guiding in summer until he was 97. Then, after taking 10 minutes longer than he had set himself for the descent of the 4164m Breithorn, he decided the moment had come to hang up his ice-axe. Inderbinen was born on December 3 1900 in Zermatt and at the age of five he was put to work looking after cows on his parents’ isolated farm and selling edelweiss to tourists. School was an hour’s walk away; he left aged 16 after walking 11 miles down the valley to sit his final exams. Before the First World War, Zermatt was already attracting 51,000 visitors each summer to climb or gaze at the Matterhorn, providing work for 170 mountain guides. But the absence of tourists during the war was a commercial disaster, with most hotels remaining shuttered and guides forced to seek work elsewhere. Inderbinen remained on his father’s farm throughout this period, leaving only briefly aged 18 to work on building sites in the valley, but walking the 17 miles back to Zermatt whenever he could. At 20 Ulrich bought his first skis, carved from local larch and 2.2 m long. He used them for the downhill journey home each day after tending sheep at the hamlet of Zmutt. It was only when the tourists returned in force in 1921 that he decided on his future career. His uncle Moritz was already a well-known mountain guide and Ulrich was determined to follow in his footsteps. The problem was, he had never climbed a mountain in his life. But in September 1921 he put this to rights by climbing the Matterhorn, with his 19-year-old sister, Martha, and two friends. “None of us knew what we were doing,” he recalled. “The girls wore ground-length skirts and their everyday shoes. But myself and my friend Alfred had fine army boots and woollen jackets.” They spent the night in the Hornli Hut at the base of the mountain which, late in the season, had already been deserted by climbers who would otherwise have prevented them from continuing. They started out at 2am by lantern light, roped together in pairs. Their candles kept blowing out in the wind and they looked for scratchmarks from hobnail boots on the rockface to give an indication of which route they should take. Four-and-a-half hours later, they reached the top. Ulrich finally qualified as a guide in 1925, and that July he was engaged by a German doctor to climb the Matterhorn. “Mr Inderbinen showed himself thoroughly safe and reliable, so I hope to climb with him more frequently,” was the treasured first entry in his guide’s book. He soon found a cunning, if exhausting, way of avoiding the stiff competition among guides in the village. Each morning he and his brother would walk for four hours to the top of the Gornergrat Railway above Zermatt to await visitors arriving off the first train. As the only official guides available, the brothers were quickly hired. In 1931 Inderbinen got his first job as a ski guide, taking a Swedish visitor up the Breithorn. He had no climbing skins, so he wrapped rope around both sets of skis for the ascent. On the descent, he fell and broke his leg on the glacier but he managed to hobble down the mountain on his ski sticks. During the WWII, Inderbinen was conscripted as a sergeant based at Zermatt, and was required to patrol the Theodul Glacier by night, armed with a rifle and bayonet, but forbidden to use a torch. For the rest of his life, he lived in the simple house behind the church which he built with his own hands in 1933. He had no telephone, no central heating, and until the last two years of his life he insisted on chopping his own firewood. He rarely left Zermatt and the Visp valley, except for a couple of short holidays in Germany and for a personal audience with the Pope in 1996. But one of his few regrets was being stopped by his family from climbing Mt Kilimanjaro at the age of 92. Never one to miss an opportunity, Inderbinen took up ski-racing for the first time at the age of 82 when he discovered that he was the only competitor in his age group for the local annual ski guides’ race. He was a familiar figure in Zermatt, his body bent almost double from 75 years of carrying a heavy rucksack and ropes. On this day in 2005 Asafa Powell of Jamaica set a new Men’s 100m world record of 9.77 at the Athens Olympic Stadium


15th Thomas William Burgess, the second person to successfully swim the English Channel after Matthew Webb, was born today in 1872 . He performed the feat on 6 September 1911, on his 16th attempt. British by nationality, Burgess spent most of his life in France, and won a bronze medal with the French water polo team at the 1900 Olympics. As well as the water polo he finished fourth in the 400m freestyle and fifth in the 200m backstroke. He was the first Channel swimmer to use goggles although they were his motorcycle goggles and leaked water, but they protected his eyes from water splashes during his breaststroke-only swim. In the 1920s Burgess was hired by the Olympian gold medallist and world record holder Gertrude Ederle, who in 1926 became the first woman to cross the English Channel. Around the same time Burgess bought a summer home at Cap Gris Nez near Calais, as a summer base to train channel swimmers from 1922 to 1934, while his main residence was at Clichy, Paris. In 1941 he was taken prisoner by the Nazis and held in a prison camp Frontstalag 142 in Besançon, France. He was released later the same year. The first American woman to win an Olympic event, Margaret Ives Abbott, was born in 1878. She won the women’s golf tournament, consisting of nine holes, with a score of 47, at the 1900 Games. Abbott won a porcelain bowl; the 1900 Games were the only Olympics at which winners received valuable artefacts instead of medals. The 1900 Games, the first in which women were allowed to compete, included 11 female athletes competing in the “ladylike” sports of golf, tennis and yachting. However, these games were so poorly organized and publicized that many competitors, including Abbott, did not realize that the events they entered were part of the Olympics. Historical research did not establish that the game was on the Olympic program until after Abbott’s death, so she herself never knew it. Abbott, who was born in Calcutta, was living in Chicago at the time, but had travelled to Paris to study art under Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin. Her mother, Mary Abbott, a novelist and book reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, also competed in the event, finishing tied for seventh place, making it the only Olympic event in which a mother and daughter competed at the same time.  On this day in 1909 representatives from England, Australia and South Africa meet at Lord’s and form the Imperial Cricket Conference. Today in 1919 John Alcock and Arthur Brown completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight when they reached Clifden, County Galway in Ireland.  Bessie Coleman earns her pilot’s licence today on 1921 thus becoming the first female pilot of African-American descent. The first Italian winner of the Tour de France, Ottavio Bottecchia, was mysteriously found dead on the roadside today in 1927. Born as the eighth child of a poor family of nine children, he went to school for just a year and first worked as a shoemaker, then as a bricklayer. Despite being a convinced socialist with anti-Fascist convictions, Bottecchia joined the Bersaglieri corps of the Italian army during WWI. For four years he ferried messages and supplies on the Austrian front with a special folding bicycle. During the conflict he contracted malaria and also had to evade capture several times. He endured a gas attack on 3 November 1917 after the battle of Caporetto while providing covering fire for retreating forces, he was later captured, but escaped while being marched into captivity at night. After returning to Italian lines, he twice conducted reconnaissance sorties into Austrian-held areas, which by now included his home region of Colle Umberto, he was later awarded a bronze medal for valour. After the end of hostilities Bottecchia moved to France in 1919 to work as a builder, which later led to insinuations that he was not Italian – slurs that were compounded by his strong regional dialect. Bottecchia’s family continued to struggle with poverty, and his youngest daughter died in 1921 at the age of seven. Bottecchia returned to Italy where he took up competitive cycling.  He won the Giro del Piave, the Coppa della Vittoria, and the Duca D’Aosta in 1920 and the Coppe Gallo an Osimo, the Circuito del Piave and the Giro del Friuli in 1921. Bottecchia became a professional cyclist in 1920. He was given a racing bicycle by Teodoro Carnielli, president of a cycling association, the Associazione Sportiva di Vittorio Veneto. Carnielli encouraged Bottecchia to join the Pordenone sport union In 1923 Bottecchia came fifth in the Giro d’Italia, the highest finish by an ‘isolate’ (rider without a team). In 1924 Bottecchia won the first stage of the Tour and kept his lead to the end, the first Italian to win. He wore his yellow jersey all the way toMilan on the train, travelling third class to save money. Bottecchia won the Tour again in 1925 with the help of Lucien Buysse, who served as the first domestique in Tour history. Accused in 1924 of winning without trying, Bottecchia won the first, sixth, seventh and final stage. He was never the same after that and dropped out, “weeping like a child”, during a thunderstorm in 1926. On 3 June 1927, a farmer outside the village of Peonis, near Bottecchia’s home, found him on the roadside. His skull was cracked; one collarbone and other bones broken. His bike lay some distance away on the verge and wasn’t damaged. There were no skid marks to suggest a car had forced him off the road and no marks to the pedals or handlebar tape to suggest he’d lost control. Bottecchia was carried to an inn and laid on a table. A priest gave him the last rites. From there he was taken by cart to hospital in Gemona. He died there twelve days later, without regaining consciousness at the aged of 32. Theories abound about the circumstances of his death, most connected to a Fascist murder/hit. However, there is hardly any evidence that the Fascists actually killed the cyclist, but the other explanations don’t make much more sense. One story has Bottecchia picking grapes when an angry farmer bashed his head in with a thrown rock—the farmer even confessed to this on his deathbed, supposedly—but that doesn’t really explain the broken collarbone. And there’s no denying that death by a bike crash or a cheesed-off winemaker doesn’t have the romantic ring that “Ottavio Bottecchia was murdered by the Fascists” does! On this day in 1954 UEFA was formed in Basel, Switzerland. Dutch field hockey midfielder, Marieke van Doorn was born in 1960, she was a member of the National Women’s Team that won the golden medal at the 1984 Olympics. Four years later in Seoul she captured the bronze medal with the Dutch national side. From 1982 to 1988 she played in 100 international matches for Holland, in which she scored 29 goals. She retired after the 1988 Olympics in South Korea, and was in charge as a hockey coach in the 1990s at her former club HGC from Wassenaar. Annelies Bredael, Belgian rower, was born in 1965. She took part in 3 consecutive Summer Olympics in Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta.  In 1992, she won the silver medal in rowing, single scull at the Olympics in Barcelona. Today in 1980 saw the 80th edition of the US Golf Open which was won by Jack Nicklaus who shot a 272 at Baltusrol Gold Club in New Jersey. Hungary beat El Savador 10-1 at Elche, Spain, in 1982 to register the highest score in the final stages of the football World Cup. Three-nil up at the interval, Hungary added seven goals in the second half to become the first team to score ten goals in a match in the final stages of the tournament. Three of the goals were scored by Laszlo Kiss, who came on for Hungary in the 55th minute. He was the first sub to score a hat-trick in the final stages of the competition. In 1985 Pinklon Thomas knocked out Mike Weaver in eight for the heavyweight boxing title. Andy Stanfield, American sprinter and Olympic medallist died on this day in 1985. Picked out as a rising star in high school he excelled at long jump and sprinting. After his army service, Stanfield attended Seton Hall University in 1948. The following year, he won his first of a long list of national titles; including six AAU titles (1949: 100m and 200m; 1950: 60yds; 1951: long jump; 1952: 200m; 1953: 220yds) and nine IC4A titles (both indoor and outdoor). He was coached by Johnny Gibson, a former 400m hurdles world record holder. Internationally, 200m was Stanfield’s strongest distance. In 1951, at the ICAAAA Championships, Stanfield—in the outside lane—won the ‘Turn’ 220yds in 20.6. The ‘Turn-220 had never been commonly contested in the USA 220yds were normally raced on ‘NoTurn’ or ‘Straight’ courses. In 1951 the IAAF started to establish world records for the Turn-200m: the initial listing accepted was by Willie Applegarth of UK in 21,1/5 set in London in 1914. In 1951, Stanfield’s Intercollegiate 220yds in 20.6 was established by the IAAF as a new World-Record for the 200m with 20.6 (220yds is more than one metre longer than 200m). Stanfield equalled this record twice, running 20.6 in 1952 and 1956. As the world record holder, Stanfield in 1952 was not a surprise winner of the gold medal at the  Olympics, equalling the Olympic Record in the final. As a member of the American 4x100m relay team, he won a second Olympic gold. He attempted to defend his 200m title in the 1956 Games, but lost it, finishing second to Bobby Morrow. British racing drive James Hunt died aged 45 today in 1993. Beginning his racing career in touring cars, Hunt progressed into Formula Three, where he attracted the attention of the Hesketh Racing team and soon came under their wing. Hunt’s often reckless and action-packed exploits on track earned him the nickname “Hunt the Shunt”. Hunt started in F1 in 1973, driving a March 731 entered by the Hesketh Racing team. He went on to win for Hesketh, driving their own Hesketh 308 car, in both World Championship and non-Championship races, before joining McLaren at the end of 1975. In his first year with McLaren, Hunt won the 1976 F1 and World Drivers’ Championship, and he remained with the team for a further two years, although with less success, before moving to Wolf in early 1979. Following a string of races in which he failed to finish, Hunt retired from driving halfway through the 1979 season. After retiring from motor racing, he established a career commenting on Grands Prix for the BBC. He had a reputation for tactical knowledge, technical insight, a dry sense of humour and criticism of drivers who, he believed, were not trying hard enough, which in the process brought him a whole new fan-base. He died from a heart attack and was inducted into the Motor Sport Hall of Fame on 29 January 2014.  Herb Pearson, New Zealand cricketer who played for Auckland  in 30 first-class matches, scoring 1392 runs at an average of 30.26 died on this day in 2006. The Belgian-French clown/comedian Raymond Devos also died on this day in 2006 aged 83. During WWII he was sent, like many young men of his generation, to Germany to work. On his return to France, he took acting and mime lessons at the Étienne Ducroux school, where he met Marcel Marceau. In 1948, he was part of a burlesque trio (in the older sense of the word burlesque). Devos’s career took off in the 1950s when he began writing his own one man shows and was the opening act for Maurice Chevalier. Although his act still involved elements of his early years as a clown (such as juggling) he was mostly recognized because of his mastery of the French language. His unique brand of surreal humour and sophisticated puns garnered him much respect throughout the Francophone world. Perhaps his best-known international appearance is a cameo in Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou 1965 as a man sitting on a harbour-side who is obsessed with the memory of a mysterious love song. He performed for the last time in 1999 in Paris’s Olympia Theatre.


16th On this day in 1871 The University Tests Act allows students to enter the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham without religious tests (except for those intending to study theology). In 1899 Victor Trumper scored his first Test Cricket century (135*) against England at Lords. On this day in 1909 Jim Thorpe made his professional baseball pitching debut for Rocky Mount (ECL) with 4-2 win, this will eventually cause him to forfeit his Olympic medals.  Today in 1915 saw the foundation of the British Women’s Institute. The WI, a community-based organisation for women, was founded in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, by Adelaide Hoodless in 1897. It then expanded to Britain, and later to other countries. Many WIs belong to the Associated Country Women of the World organization. The British WI movement was formed in 1915 in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll (Llanfair PG), on Anglesey. It had two clear aims: to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during WWI. Since then the organisation’s aims have broadened and it is now the largest women’s voluntary organisation in the UK. Amongst WI aims and activities are providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, enabling them to take part in a wide variety of activities, campaigning on issues that matter to them and their communities. British racing driver Ron Flockhart was born in Edinburgh today in 1923. He participated in 14 World Championship F1 Grands Prix, achieving one podium finish and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race twice. Flockhart started competing in 1951 in a Joe Potts Formula 3 car. He purchased the famous ERA R4D from Raymond Mays and in 1953 had a very successful season, beating one of the works BRMs at Goodwood. He achieved podium finishes at Goodwood, Charterhall, Snetterton and Crystal Palace, as well as several hill climb successes. In the early 1960s the United Dominions Trust made plans to break the record for the time taken to fly from Sydney to London in order to gain publicity for its UDT Laystall racing team. A Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation-built Mustang World War Two fighter was purchased in Australia and Flockhart was engaged to make the attempt. Flockhart left Sydney in the Mustang, on 28 February 1961 and after several delays due to bad weather finally ended the attempt at Athens due to engine problems. Flockhart subsequently entered the London-Cardiff Air Race to be held in June that year but withdrew because his aircraft was still in Athens. Another CAC Mustang was bought in Australia for Flockhart to make a second attempt at the Sydney-London record. On 12 April 1962, while on a test flight in preparation for the record attempt, Flockhart crashed in poor weather near Kallista, Victoria and was killed.  One of England’s most elegant batsmen, Tom Graveney, was born in 1927. He scored 47,793 first-class runs between 1948 and 1971. In 79 Test appearances he scored 4882 runs. The first four places in the 1929 Le Mans 24-Hour race were occupied by British-made Bentleys. The paring of Woolf Barnato and Sir Henry Birkin took first place, their car averaging 73.63mph (118.4km/hr). In 1932 Yorkshire’s first wicket partnership of Herbert Sutcliffe and Percy Holmes established a new record during the match against Essex at Leyton. Their partnership ended after 555 runs when Sutcliffe was dismissed for 313. Holmes remained unbeaten on 224. The pair beat the previous 34-year-old record by one run. It was surpassed by West Indians Frank Worrell and Clyde Walcott in the 1945-46 season.  The world’s most successful motor cyclist, Giacomo Agostini of Italy, was born in 1942. He won more world titles (15) and more world championships (122) than any other man. He won the coveted 500cc title a record eight times between 1966 and 1975. Roberto Durán, Panamanian professional boxer was born today in 1951. Durán was a versatile boxer earning him the nickname “Manos de Piedra” (“Hands of Stone”) for his devastating punching power. He is a four-weight world champion, having held titles at lightweight (1972–1979), welterweight (1980), light middleweight (1983–1984), and middleweight (1989), as well as reigns as the undisputed and lineal lightweight champion (1978–1979), and the lineal welterweight champion (1980). He is also the second boxer to have competed over a span of five decades, the first being Jack Johnson. He won the WBA lightweight title in 1972 when he stopped Britain’s Ken Buchanan. He relinquished the title in 1979 to concentrate on the welterweight division. He then beat ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard for the welterweight crown.. In 2002, Durán was voted by The Ring magazine as the fifth greatest fighter of the last 80 years, while boxing historian Bert Sugar rated him as the eighth greatest fighter of all time. The Associated Press voted him as the best lightweight of the 20th century, with many considering him the greatest lightweight of all time. Durán finally retired in January 2002 at age 50 (having previously retired in 1998) following a bad car crash in October 2001, with an epic professional record of 119 fights, 103 wins, and 70 knockouts. On this day in 1952 Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl is published in the USA.  Today in 1963 saw the USSR launch the first woman into space. Lieutenant Valentina Tereshkova, 26, was the fifth Russian cosmonaut to go into the Earth’s orbit when her spaceship Vostok VI was launched at 1230 Moscow time. Moscow Television broadcast the first pictures of the elated Tereshkova – code-named Seagull – ninety minutes later. One of the main purposes of her mission was to attempt the first docking manoeuvre with another spaceship. Russian Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev had a radio conversation with the female cosmonaut.  By 2000 BST  Tereshkova had completed 23 circuits of the globe – one more than the longest-flying US spaceman, Gordon Cooper – at a distance of between 114 miles (183km) and 145 miles (232km) with an average 88.3 minutes for each orbit. Thousands of jubilant women gathered in Red Square, Moscow, to celebrate the occasion. A special issue of Soviet newspaper Pravda said Tereshkova had dreamed of going into space as soon as she heard about the first man in space, Colonel Yuri Gagarin, in April 1961. Tereshkova – an amateur parachutist – joined the space programme last March. Today in 1968 Lee Trevino becomes the first player to play all 4 rounds of golf’s US open under par. On this day in 1971, the El Greco sketch, “The Immaculate Conception,” stolen in Spain 35 years earlier, was recovered in New York City by the FBI.  Saint Lucian cricketer, Glenicia James, who represented the West Indies, was born on this day in 1974. A right-handed top order batter, Watts played in five women’s One Day International matches. She played all her matches against Sri Lanka during their March 2003 tour.  In 1982 England midfield supremo Bryan Robson scored in just 27 seconds against France at Bilbao; the goal is the quickest in World Cup history. In 1984 Edwin Moses won his 100th consecutive 400m hurdles race. The Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling was born today in 1995. Gold medallist in the 100m butterfly at the 2016 Olympics, he attained Singapore’s first-ever Olympic medal in swimming, as well as its first-ever Olympic gold medal in any sport. His winning time of 50.39 seconds is a National, Asian, and Olympic record, as well as a World ‘textile’ best time. He is currently studying at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a member of the Texas Longhorns swimming team, one of the top collegiate swim programmes under two-time United States Olympic men’s head coach Eddie Reese. He first qualified for the Olympics in 2012 after winning the 200m butterfly at the 2011 SEA Games. Nils Emanuel Karlsson better known as Mora-Nisse, Swedish cross-country skier, died on this day in 2012 aged 94. Karlsson won gold in the 50km at the 1948 Winter Olympics and nine Vasaloppet victories. He also won bronze in the 50km at the 1950 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, and a total of 37 gold medals in Swedish national championships, 17 in individual competition and  won the Holmenkollen ski festival 50km twice (1947 and 1951). For his success in cross-country skiing, Karlsson was awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 1952 Eight years earlier, Karlsson was awarded the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal.  Between 1954 and 1966 Karlsson trained the national cross-country skiing team, yet he lived all his life in his native village Östnor near Mora, where a road was named after him during his lifetime, and where he ran the sport equipment store “Mora-Nisse Sports”. The Mora-Nisse’s Jubilee Fund was established on his 65th birthday, which supports young Swedish skiers.   The Austrian biologist and underwater diving pioneer Hans Hass died at the age of 94 today in 2013. He was known mainly for being among the first scientists to popularise coral reefs, stingrays and sharks. He pioneered the making of documentaries filmed underwater. He led development of the aqualung and of a type of rebreather. He is known, too, for his energon theory and his commitment to protecting the environment.


17th Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth today in 1631. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, spent the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal. On this day in 1861 President Abraham Lincoln witnessed Dr. Thaddeus Lowe demonstrate the use of a hot-air balloon. William “Bill” John Carr was born on this day in 1876. He was a member of the American boat Vesper Boat Club, which won the gold medal in the eights at the 1900 Olympics. Australian cricketer Alexander “Alec” Hurwood was born in 1902. He played in 2 Tests from 1930 to 1931.Renowned for his odd bowling style, taking only a couple of steps before delivering the ball, Hurwood played for Queensland before being called up to the Australian squad for summer of 1930/31. Hurwood was unlucky, after gaining very respectable figures from his 2 Tests, to be dropped in favour of bowlers returning to the squad from injury. A woman who is the unknown hero of kids everywhere – Ruth Graves Wakefield was born in 1903.  She was the inventor of the Toll House Cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie, which she created c. 1938. Soviet-Armenian Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian was born on this day in 1929. World Chess Champion from 1963 to 1969, he was nicknamed “Iron Tigran” due to his almost impenetrable defensive playing style, which emphasised safety above all else. Petrosian was a Candidate for the World Championship on eight occasions (1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1971, 1974, 1977 and 1980). He won the World Championship in 1963 (against Mikhail Botvinnik), successfully defended it in 1966, against Boris Spassky and lost it to Spassky in 1969. Thus he was the defending World Champion or a World Championship Candidate in ten consecutive three-year cycles. He won the Soviet Championship four times (1959, 1961, 1969, and 1975). Former England pace-bowler Brian Statham was born in 1930. He spearheaded, with Freddie Trueman, the England attack in the 1950s. he played for England 70 times and took 252 Test wickets. Another top sportsman of the 1950s has a birthday today. Athlete Derek Ibbotson was born in 1932. The first man to run the mile in exactly four minutes, he won back the world mile record for Britain at the White City in 1957, beating Australian John Landy’s record with a time of 3mins 57.2secs. Today in 1942 saw the first publication of the weekly magazine for US armed service personnel called Yank.  The world’s best known and most successful cyclist, Eddy Merckx, was born in 1945. He won the Tour de France a record-equalling five times and also the other major ‘Tours’ of Italy and Spain. He was world professional road race champion three times. On this day in 1950 surgeon Richard Lawler performed the first kidney transplant in Chicago. Today in 1961, Principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet, Rudolf Nureyev, broke free from Russian embassy guards at a Paris airport and requested asylum in France. The 23-year-old Russian dancer dashed through a security barrier at Le Bourget airport shouting in English: “I want to be free.” It is understood Nureyev was approached by two Russian guards as he was waiting, with the rest of his troupe, to board a BEA Vanguard plane to London, who informed him that he was required to return to Moscow instead of going to London, but, as he was being escorted to a waiting Russian aircraft, he made his dash for freedom. He was taken into the airport police station by two French police officers, followed by the two furious Russian guards, and a heated argument ensued. He was immediately granted temporary asylum in France and his case was referred to the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons. The Leningrad Kirov Ballet. He never returned to Russia, settled in the West and soon became an international star.  He is regarded by many as the greatest male dancer of the 20th century. Not long after he settled in the West he met leading British dancer Margot Fonteyn who brought him to the Royal Ballet in London, which formed his base for the rest of his dancing career. In the early years of his career Nureyev struggled to come to terms with his homosexuality, however after he settled in the West he had relationships with several well-known men, including Eric Bruhn, director of the Royal Swedish Ballet, and film star Anthony Perkins. He died on 6 January 1993 from an Aids related illness. According to his last wishes, Rudolf Nureyev was buried in the Russian cemetery at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, near Paris. In 1963 the US Supreme Court banned the required reading of the Lord’s Prayer and Bible in public schools in America.  British middle distance runner Diane Modahl née Edwards was born today in 1966. She won the 800m title at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Her other notable results at 800m include finishing second at the 1986 Commonwealth Games, third at the 1989 IAAF Grand Prix Final, fourth at the 1993 World Championships, and winning the European Cup in 1994. She also won six AAAs National 800m titles and represented Great Britain at four Olympic Games (1988–2000), reaching the 800m final in 1988. In 1994, after a competition in Lisbon, her urine sample mimicked a positive reading for the performance-enhancing drug testosterone. Falsely accused of a doping offence, she professed her innocence and was later fully exonerated following an appeal. She returned to competition in 1996, and won a bronze medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Her career best 800m time of 1:58.65 in 1990 ranks her seventh on the UK all-time list. In 1971 David Duckham became the first man to score six times in a tour match for the British Lions, against West Coast-Buller at Greymouth, New Zealand.  Isabelle Delobel, French former competitive ice dancer was born in 1978. Together with partner Olivier Schoenfelder, she is the 2008 World champion, the 2007 European champion, and the 2008 Grand Prix Final champion. Delobel and Schoenfelder retired from competitive skating following the 2010 Winter Olympics, having skated together for two decades. Italian race walker Elisa Rigaudo was born on this day in 1980. She won six medals; five of these at senior leveland is affiliated with the Fiamme Gialle Castelporziano sports club. Rigaudo represented her country at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008. She was the bronze medallist over 20km at the 2011 European Race Walking Cup and went on to come fourth at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. In 2002, she received a public warning for high levels of caffeine in her doping sample. She came third at the 2012 Memorial Mario Albisetti, finishing behind Russia’s Tatyana Sibileva. Norman Whiteside became the then youngest player to compete in the final stages of the World Cup in 1982. He was 17 years 41 days when he appeared for Northern Ireland aginst Yugoslavia. Helen Glover was born in 1986, British professional rower and a member of the Great Britain Rowing Team, she has been ranked the number 1 female rower in the world since 2015, she is a two time Olympic champion, triple World champion, quintuple World Cup champion and triple European champion. As of June 2016, she and her partner Heather Stanning are the World, Olympic, World Cup and European record holders, plus the reigning Olympic, World and European champions in the women’s coxless pairs. She has also been a British champion in both women’s fours and quad sculls. At the 2012 Olympic Games, in partnership with Heather Stanning, she set the Olympic record and won the gold medal in the women’s coxless pairs, the first gold medal won by Team GB at the 2012 Games and the first Olympic gold medal for British women’s rowing. At the 2013 World Rowing Championships in South Korea, she became the world champion with her partner Polly Swann, with whom she also won the 2014 European Rowing Championships at Belgrade and thus became the first woman to hold the Olympic, World and European titles for the coxless pair. She retained her world title and set the world record time in partnership with Heather Stanning at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, and they retained their World title at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Lac d’Aiguebelette, France. In 2016, they retained their European title at Brandenburg an der Havel, set the World Rowing Cup record time at Poznan and again won gold in the Olympics. French ski mountaineer Stéphane Brosse died today in 2012 aged 40 .He started ski mountaineering in 1990 and competed the first time at the Miage Contamines Somfy race in 1995. In 1996 he became a member of the national team. Together with Pierre Gignoux he set the record and continued to hold it for the Mont Blanc course from 30 May 2003. The duo needed a total time of 5h 15′ 47″ for the total course, thereof about 4 hours and seven minutes for climbing up, and about one hour and seven minutes for the downhill race.  Since 2003 he and Lionel Bonnel had also held the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route record with 21h 11′. Stéphane Brosse died while crossing the Aiguille d’Argentière in the Mont Blanc massif when a snow cornice collapsed under him, resulting in him falling about 600m.


18thHungarian Olympic swimmer Zoltán Halmay was born in 1881 and competed in four Olympics. In 1904 he won the 50 and 100yds at the St. Louis Games and in 1906 he was a member of the 4×250m relay team that won the gold medal. He won a further 4 silver medals and a bronze medal at other Olympics. He was Hungarian champion 14 times and won the English, German and Austrian Championships as well. He was a world record holder at 100m and also at 50 and 220yds. His versatility is shown by the fact that he was also a remarkable athlete, rower and football player, and he won a national-level championship in roller-skating over 5000m. After his retirement he worked as a trainer, and he was the federal chief trainer of the Hungarian Swimming Association. He died on 20 May 1956. The Bear of Hämeenkyrö or Paavo Yrjölä was born in 1902. A Finnish track and field athlete who won gold in the decathlon at the 1928 Olympics, also competed in shot put and high jump at the same Games, and in decathlon in 1924 and 1932, but less successfully. In the 1928 Olympics, he had to rerun the 100m hurdles as the fourth hurdle was placed incorrectly.  Finland took the top two spots in the decathlon that year with Yrjölä taking the gold (with a world record) and Akilles Järvinen the silver. In his years of competing, Yrjölä set three officially ratified world records: 7820 points in 1926 (6460 according to the current scoring tables and with standard manual timing corrections of 0.24 seconds for 100m and 110m hurdles, 0.14 seconds for 400m and nothing for 1500m, 7995 points in 1927 (6586) and 8053 in the 1928 Olympics (6587). Yrjölä was the first decathlete to score higher than Jim Thorpe at the 1912 Olympics. Thorpe’s performance wasn’t officially recognized as a record due to his semi-professional status. Yrjölä set one more record in 1930 of 8117 points (6700), but this wasn’t officially ratified. Athletics was a family affair as his brother, Iivari Yrjölä, competed in the decathlon at the 1924 Olympics, and his son, Matti Yrjölä, was a successful shot-putter. Alf Francis was born in 1918 as Alfons Kowaleski in Danzig in West Prussia, (now Poland) was a motor racing mechanic and racing car constructor. Francis was born in Danzig but left during World War II, first for Portugal, then by sea to Liverpool in the UK, where he joined the Polish 1st Armoured Division. After World War II, he changed his nationality to British, and his name to Alf Francis. He became a racing mechanic for Stirling Moss and the Chief Mechanic at Rob Walker Racing Team. At Rob Walker Racing Team, he maintained many Grand Prix cars including Cooper-Climax and Lotus 18, and helped developing the team’s own Formula 1 car called Walker Special. Working with transmission engineer and designer Valerio Colotti, he became a partner of Colotti-Francis, and moved to Italy. In 1963 he returned to England where he was involved in the unsuccessful Derrington-Francis Formula One project. He subsequently emigrated to the USA, where he built cars for lower racing formulae. In 1966 he authored his biography Alf Francis: Racing Mechanic with journalist Peter Lewis. On this day in 1928 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane. She is a passenger; Wilmer Stultz is the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic.Today in 1942 the US Navy commissioned its first black officer, Harvard University medical student Bernard Whitfield Robinson. Eliezer Halfin, Israeli wrestler, was born on this day in 1948At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, along with 10 other athletes and coaches he was taken hostage by Palestinian Black September terrorists. Eventually they were brought to a German airport and during an attempted rescue mission staged by the German police all the hostages died. Eliezer was a mechanic by profession and was born in Riga, USSR. He came to Israel in 1969 and officially became a citizen 7 months prior to his death. Eliezer was a lightweight wrestler and competed for 11 years. In Israel he was a member of Hapoel Tel Aviv club. Participating in the 20th Olympic Games was the highlight of his career and his dream; he is buried in Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv. Annelie Ehrhardt, née Jahns was born in 1950, a retired German hurdler, she won gold in the inaugural 100m hurdles at the 1972 Olympics, setting a new world record, and becoming the first East German Olympic Champion in this event. She also won silver at the 1971 European Championships and gold at the 1974 European Championships in a new championship record of 12.66seconds.  Hungarian chess grandmaster and International Arbiter Gyula Sax was born on this day in 1951 Sax was awarded the IM title in 1972 and the GM title in 1974. He was the Hungarian Chess Champion in 1976 and 1977 (jointly). In 1971-72, Sax was the European Junior Champion, and he came first at Rovinj-Zagreb 1975, Vinkovci 1976, Las Palmas 1978 and Amsterdam 1979. He won the 1978 Canadian Open Chess Championship and the strong Lugano Open in 1984. Douglas Jardine, the English cricket captain for the controversial ‘Bodyline’ series in 1932-33, died on this day in 1958 aged 57. Henry Cooper rocked the boxing world in 1963 by putting super-confident Cassius Clay on the canvas four seconds from the end of the fourth round of their non-title fight at Wembley. Clay’s trainer Angelo Dundee later admitted he had made a small rip in Clay’s glove into a bigger one during the interval so as to gain some extra time for the groggy fighter while a replacement glove was found. A revived Clay renewed his attack in the next round and the referee stopped the fight with Cooper bleeding heavily from a cut over the eye. Haki Doku, Albanian para-cyclist was born in 1969. Doku became the first athlete to represent Albania at the Paralympic Games when he competed in the Men’s road race H2 and the Men’s road time trial H2 at the 2012   Paralympics.As he was the only competitor from the small European nation he was also the flag bearer at the opening and closing ceremonies. Russian sabre fencer Sergey Sharikov was born in 1974; he won two Olympic golds as well as silver and a bronze. One of the best sabre fencers in the world, Sharikov began fencing at the age of 12. Sharikov, who was Jewish, was a participant for the Russian team at the 2001 Maccabiah Games. He won the gold medal in the individual sabre over fellow Olympian, Vadim Gutzeit of the Ukraine. He also competed in the 2005 Maccabiah Games in Israel, this time winning the silver medal as Vadim Gutzeit beat him 15–13 for the gold. He died on 6 June 2015 in a car accident at the age of 40. He was driving an all-terrain vehicle on the road as a part of a group of ATV drivers when it veered into the opposite traffic lane and collided head-on with a car. Wang Liqin, Chinese table tennis player was born on this day in1978.. He has been ranked 12th in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). He began playing at the age of 6 and was picked for the Chinese men’s national squad in 1993 when he was only 15 years old. He holds three majors (3 World Championships). He has been ranked #1 by ITTF for 25 consecutive months, from September 2000 to September 2002, which is the second longest period for being consecutive world #1. At the end of 2013, Wang Liqin retired from the national team André Leducq French cyclist died on this day in 1980 aged 76; he won the 1930 and 1932 Tour de France. He also won a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics in the team road race and the 1928 Paris–Roubaix.  He was world champion in 1924 as an amateur before turning professional in 1927. The following year he won Paris–Roubaix and was second in the Tour de France, becoming popular for his humour. His other victories including the two Tours de France (he won 25 stages in nine rides) and the 1931 Paris–Tours. He has the fourth-highest number of stage wins in the Tour de France (behind Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Mark Cavendish).  After his retirement, he founded a professional cycling team that raced in the 1950s. In 1983 Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. Playing for Spain against Denmark in 1986 Emilio Butraguelio became the last man to score four goals in the final stages of the World Cup. This first sudden death US Open Golf Championship was won by Hale Irwin on this day in 1990. Sandra Izbaşa, Russian gymnast was born in 1990, a double Olympic champion, having won the floor gold at the 2008 Olympics and vault at the 2012 Olympics.  She is also a winner of two Olympic bronze medals (as part of the Romanian team in 2008 and 2012) and multiple World Championship and European Championship medals.  Russian swimmer Aleksander Popov lowers the 100m freestyle world record to 48.21secs today in 1994. Tiger Woods wins the 100th US Golf Open, held at Pebble Beach, California by shooting a 272, on this day in 2000. Welsh cricketer Tom  Maynard died today in 2012 aged  A right-handed batsman and very occasional right-arm off break bowler he played for Surrey and was  the son of former Glamorgan and England batsman Matthew Maynard. Born in Cardiff he made his way up the ranks with Glamorgan, starting in the county’s Under-17s side at the age of 15. By the time he was 16; he had reached the Glamorgan 2nd XI and was playing for the Wales Minor Counties team. He made his debut for the Glamorgan First XI on 10 June 2007, playing in a Friends Provident Trophy match against the Gloucestershire Gladiators .His Twenty20 Cup debut soon followed, as he played in Glamorgan’s three-run defeat to the Warwickshire Bears on 24 June 2007. His first-class debut finally came two months later on the third day of a County Championship match against Somerset. No play was possible on the first two days of the match, so Maynard’s debut ended up being restricted to just one innings, in which he scored 15 runs and bowled two overs in the Somerset innings, conceding 18 runs. Maynard signed a three-year deal to play for Surre before the 2011 season. He was selected for the England Lions 2011–12 tour to Bangladesh, playing in three List A games with little success and five Twenty20 games in one of which he scored 68. In 2012 he continued to perform well for Surrey. He scored 635 runs in eight first-class matches. On the day of his death, his car was stopped by police in Wimbledon after being driven erratically, Maynard subsequently fled the scene and the police were initially unable to locate him. Approximately an hour later Maynard was electrocuted on a railway line near Wimbledon Park Station. He was then hit by a London Underground District line train and his body was found near the tracks at 5:10 am. His funeral was held at Llandaff Cathedral on 4 July, with more than 1,000 people in attendance, including England players past and present. An inquest into his death returned a verdict of accidental death, a post-mortem having revealed that he was nearly four times over the legal drink-drive limit and had also taken cocaine and ecstasy in the form of MDMA. A forensic pathologist said that it was not possible to say whether electrocution or being hit by the train was the cause of death. A charity, the Tom Maynard Trust, was launched in his memory at the CB40 fixture between Surrey and Glamorgan at The Oval on 21 August, to help young cricketers and other young sportspeople in developing their careers. The match also served as a memorial to Maynard, with all the players on both sides wearing shirts that carried Maynard’s squad numbers when at Glamorgan and Surrey, 33 and 55 respectively. Both squad numbers were retired, as was the number 64 he wore on duty for the England Lions.[Before the match a posthumous Surrey county cap was presented to Matthew Maynard on behalf of his son.