In 1936, at age 19, Louis Zamperini was one of the best middle-distance runners in the world. He was good enough to be on the U.S. team in the Berlin Olympics, where he finished eighth in the 5,000 meters and stood close enough to Adolf Hitler's box at the stadium to get a good look at the Nazi dictator. "I was pretty naí¯ve about world politics, and I thought he looked funny, like something out of a Laurel and Hardy film," Zamperini recalled in a 2003 interview with the New York Times.
For the first time since 1998, NBC's Bob Costas won't be hosting the network's prime-time Olympics show, thanks to an eye infection most of us recognize from childhood.
There was a time, in the late 1930s, when Émile Allais was a the best all-around skiier on the planet. In the 1937 world championships, he won gold medals in the downhill, slalom and combined, becoming the first athlete to win both downhill and slalom races in the international event. He was not only talented but also so bold and fearless that, after taking a bad fall and being knocked unconscious in an event in 1936, he returned the next day to race. Jean-Claude Killy, the legendary French skier who dominated the sport in the late 1960s, said that it was Allais who taught him to take risks.
As the Summer 2012 Olympics in London continue to draw the world's attention, Mike Sophia is already focused on summer 2013. That's when the National Senior Games -- aka the "Senior Olympics" -- will take place, and Sophia is already lining up older athletes to compete in what he expects to be a record-breaking event.
Helen Johns Carroll, now 97, was only 17 years old when she represented the United States in swimming at the 1932 Summer Olympics. That makes the gold medal she won 80 years old--and Carroll the product of a much different Olympic era.
Search AARP Blogs