As Different As They Come


Forum devoted to track & field items of an historical nature.

As Different As They Come

Postby LopenUupunut » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:42 am

Today's birthday quiz again features two athletes, both of whom competed at the Olympics but failed to win a gold medal.

Athlete A was born 101 years ago today (Thursday) and not only broke the world record multiple times, but took it to a whole new level and held it for more than a decade. Unfortunately, this athlete had the bad luck of peaking between the Olympics. Later a professional in two other sports, athlete A died in 1969.

Athlete B was born 49 years ago today and has three World Championship gold medals, in addition to one WC silver and an Olympic silver. One of those three gold-winning performances still remains the championship record.

Other than sharing the same birthday, these two athletes are almost as different as they come. Can you name them?
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Re: As Different As They Come

Postby jmd » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:29 am

I think athlete A is "Baby Jack" or Jack Torrance, the famous American
shot-putter of the 30' !

And athlete B may be Silke Gladisch, the sprinter from East-Germany,
gold medalist of the 100 m and 200 m, in 1987 at Rome.
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Re: As Different As They Come

Postby LopenUupunut » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:45 am

Nice job, jmd. Athlete A is Jack Torrance and athlete B is Silke Gladisch.

Jack Torrance broke the shot put WR three times in 1934, and that's just the official count. Before that year, the WR was at 16.20; once he was finished, it was at 17.40 and would remain there until Charles Fonville came along in 1948. (As noted in this thread, Fonville weighed some 100 pounds less than Torrance!)

US outdoor champion in 1933-35 and NCAA champion in '33 and '34 in the SP, Torrance was also a useful discus thrower and one of the key performers when LSU won their first team title in 1933. After placing 5th in Berlin and subsequently retiring from T&F he briefly became a professional boxer, and later a football player; he was with the Chicago Bears when they won the NFL championship in 1940.

As noted, Silke Gladisch (-Möller) won the 100/200 double in Rome '87; her winning time of 21.74 in the latter race was only 0.03 from the world record and still stands as the CR. Her third gold was from the 4x1 relay in '83; in both '87 and '88 the East German relay team had to be content with silver.
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