Sunday, May 24, 2015

V. 5 N. 42 World Class Athletes Who Died in War

Olympians who died in war

Every Memorial Day we publish this list to honor those who fell in war and who were also Olympians.  A complete list of all Olympic sports, not just track and field, is shown here.  This list is from the website Sports-Reference.  I once found another site that referred to 4 or 5 previous winners of the Tour de France who died in WWI.  We all know that a foundation in sport and experience in high levels of competition is no guarantee to a long, happy life.  Previous wars involved more people from all walks of society.  Now our government has found a way with the all volunteer army, to promote military adventures without calling on the whole of our young population to be sucked into the program.  So far fewer contemporary athletes making great salaries are tempted to be on the front lines.  A few exceptions, like Pat Tillman have turned their backs on the big bucks and served their country.   Many could probably not find Afghanistan or Iraq on a map.  So thanks to those young guys of the past who stepped up to the plate when their country called,  some but not all of those being Cliff Cushman, Foy Draper, Charley Paddock who didn't make it back and those like Mel Pender, Louis Zamperini,  and Ted Williams  who did come back.

I've looked for some other articles of a similar nature.
This one appears today in The Independent on British footballers and cricketers who perished in WWI.  It is an amazingly high percentage of international level sportsmen.

British Athletes who died in WWI


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