To spouses and sweethearts alike, a very happy Valentine’s Day from The Olympians!
Gymnast Nikolai Prodanov and javelin thrower Diana Yorgova of Bulgaria are the first Olympians to marry during the Olympics, tying the knot in the Olympic Village of the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Americans Hal (hammer) and Olga (discus) Connolly sneak a kiss through a fence that prevented men from gaining access to the women’s rooms in Tokyo. They famously met at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics when she was Olga Fikotova of Czechoslovakia, and they both took home gold.
Brit Ken Matthews, gold medalist of the 20K walk at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, gets a celebrated hug from his wife Sheila after his victory.
Double gold medalist (400m, 4x400m relay), Mike Larrabee, gets a lengthy kiss from his wife, Margaret. Larrabee of Team USA as you can see in the picture also placed the gold medal he had just won from his 400-meter finals around her neck.
They appear to waddle more than walk. But that’s how you attain speeds of 8 km per hour without ever having a foot leave the ground at any time.
Ken Matthews, the electrician from Erdington, England, tasted bitter disappointment in Rome, failing to complete the 20km walk at the Rome Olympics. Determined to compete in Tokyo, he clocked out at 5pm from the local power plant, and pounded the roads in training. As he said in this FT.com article, he gave himself “a thrashing”, building up his stamina and
power in his legs.
And there he was, all alone as he entered the National Stadium on October 15, setting an Olympic record in the 20-kilometer walk.
And there she was, all of a sudden, on the track and embracing her husband, the Olympic champion.