Fanny Blankers-Koen was a native of the Netherlands. She was an athlete who won four Gold Medals at the 1948 Olympics in London. At the time she was a mother of two young children. Her success as an athlete led her being given the nickname ‘the Flying Housewife’.
Fanny Blankers-Koen was born Francina Elsje Koen in the village of Lage Vuursche in the municipality of Baarn in the Netherlands on April 27th 1918. Described as a natural athlete she competed in several sports form a young age. At the age of seventeen she set a Dutch national record in the 800m. Coached by her husband Jan Blankers she was selected for the Dutch team for the 1936 Olympics. She did not win any medals at the event but met her hero Jesse Owens.
At the European Championships in 1938 Blankers-Coen won her first international medals. She also set her first world record in the 800m. The Olympic Games of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled due to World War II. In 1948 the Olympic Games were held in London. At the games Blankers-Coen won four gold medals. She became a national hero in the Netherlands and went on to win three Gold Medals in the European Championships in 1950. In 1999 she was named Female Athlete of the Century by the International Association of Athletics Federation.
Fanny Blankers-Koen, Dutch athlete who won four Gold Medals at the 1948 Olympics and was known as ‘the Flying Housewife’, died aged 85 in the year 2004 On This Day.
05-09-1948_04572 Fanny Blankers-Koen by IISG on 1948-05-09 22:32:18