Google is celebrating the 100th birthday of the late Dutch runner Fanny Blankers-Koen, a historic Olympic athlete, with its new Google Doodle.
Blankers-Koen, born in 1918 in the Netherlands, was a track star, acing events like the 200m race, the 800m race and the high jump. By the age of 17, she had set a national record for the women’s 800m, and at age 18, she competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, placing fifth in the 4x100m race and sixth in high jump.
The track star was unable to compete in the Olympics after 1936, because the 1940 and 1944 games were cancelled. By the time the 1948 Olympics came around, Blankers-Koen was 30 and a mother of two — which hardly stopped her. Despite criticism from many people saying she should stay home instead of competing, Blankers-Koen decided to race in the 1948 London Games.
Blankers-Koen became the first woman to win four medals in one Olympics session, snagging gold in the 100m, 80m hurdles, 200m and 4×100 relay. She still holds the record for the highest margin in Olympics 200m history, when she beat her opponents by 0.7 seconds. Her speed earned her the nickname “The Flying Housewife.”
Blankers-Koen died in 2004 at the age of 85.
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