Great Olympians

Biographies - EL

Elek Ilona

competed in 1936 as

Ilona Schacherer-Elek

B. 1907-05-17, Hungary; D. 1988
Fencing (2 gold, 1 silver)
1936 1948 1952 HP
Foil, individual gold gold silver 37800

Hungary's first woman Olympic champion. She was also World individual champion in 1933 and 1951.
Her sister Margit was sixth at London.
With thanks to Vasarhelyi Tamas.

Hicham El Guerrouj

Athletics (2 gold, 1 silver)
1996 2000 2004 HP
1500 m 12th silver gold 10440
5000 m gold 6400

Launceston Elliott

B. 1874-06-09, Mumbai, India, competed for Great Britain; D. 1930-08-08
4 sports (1 gold, 1 silver)
1896 1900 HP
100 m Heat:3rd - 272 368
Discus Throw - 11th 96
total Athletics 272 96
Rope Climbing fifth 1500 1500
total Gymnastics 1500
Wrestling, Greco-Roman 1st round 1620 1620
total Wrestling 1620
Weightlifting, Two Hands silver 4000 10400
Weightlifting, One Hand gold 6400
13792 96 13888

One of 3 Olympians to have competed in four sports.

Olympic Competitor nr 14

Boughèra El Ouafi

Algeria, competed for France
Athletics, marathon (1 gold)
1924 1928 HP
Marathon 7th gold 10200

Khadr Sayed El Touni

B. 1915-03-15, Egypt
Weightlifting (1 gold)
1936 1948 HP
Middleweight gold fourth 15000

Paul Bert Elvstrøm

B. 1928-02-25, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Yachting (4 gold)
1948 1952 1956 1960 1968 1972 1984 1988 HP
Firefly gold 76800
Finn gold gold gold
Star fourth 4000
Soling 13th 38.4
Tornado fourth 15th 4025

He competed for 40 years, from 1948 to 1988, a record he shares with Magnus KonowIvan Osiier and  Durward Knowles.
His approach to small-boat sailing, a belief that fitness from land training was a way to win, revolutionized competitive sailing. The first of his four gold medals was won at Torbay in 1948 and at Acapulco in 1968 he came fourth in the Star class.
He realized that hanging over the side of the boat for a longer period than his opponents gave him an advantage and the only way to achieve this was through physical fitness. He was also a student of weather lore and relished the idea of going out on stormy days to learn more about his craft and how to handle it. He won eleven World Championships in seven different classes between 1957 and 1974. He wrote several books and in 1954 started a company, Elvstrøm Sails, with branches throughout the world; he also built pleasure boats.
Paul Elvström was voted Denmark's Sportsman of the Century in 1996.
There has always been one solo event in sailing history. In '48, this was still the 'Fire-Fly', from '52 this became the 'Finn'. Elvstrøm must therefor be credited with four golds in the same event (the solo sailing). He was fourth in '68 and competed unsuccessfully in '72.
He teamed up with his daughter Inge Trine in the Tornado in 1984, and missed another medal by 0.70 points. They also competed in 1988.
The International Finn Organisation has a Web Page about the history of Finn, in which Paul Elvstrøm plays a big part.

Written 2000-11-28 - last modified last modified 2002-10-28

This page is part of the site "Full Olympians" by Herman De Wael. See here for a full Introduction.