Olympics Photo of the Day

Monday, June 8, 2009

Georges ANDRE

Forever young

Géo André made his first appearance at the Olympics as an 18-year-old high jumper in 1908. Although his pre-Olympic best was 1.79m, in London he cleared 1.88m and earned a surprise silver medal. At the 1912 Olympics, André took part in the decathlon, the pentathlon, the high jump, the standing high jump and standing long jump and the 110m hurdles. He served as a soldier during World War I and was badly injured and taken prisoner. After escaping at his sixth try, he rejoined the fight as an aviator. At the 1920 Olympics he placed fourth in the 400m hurdles and then, a week later, he won a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay. He also ran in the 400m. In 1924 the Olympics were held in André's hometown of Paris. By now he was 34 years old and André, now participating in his fourth Olympics, was chosen to take the Athletes' Oath on behalf of all the athletes. He competed again in the 400m hurdles and again he qualified for the final and placed fourth. Even after his retirement from sport, André continued to be a late achiever. Anxious to do his part in World War II, but too old to be a fighter pilot, André joined the infantry and was killed near Tunis on 4 May 1943. He was 53 years old.