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Dorothy's two Olympic silvers

"I jump into a sand pit for a living"

Jonathan Edwards, World record triple-jumper

Dorothy Tyler

Dorothy Tyler died in late September 2014. She was 94. I met her in 2011 and was impressed with her recall of events in her career which spanned 4 Olympic Games over a 20 year period. At 16 she competed in Berlin 1936 recalling “Hitler Youth and swastikas everywhere”. The women were separated from the men – “we were put in a women’s PE college”. It was an amazing experience for a 16 year old who took silver in the high jump.

Medallists Ibolya Csák, Elfriede Kaun and Dorothy at the 1936 Olympics.

She recalled the opening ceremony and having to wait an hour for Hitler’s arrival. Then “we marched in –marched, not like the modern rabble waving at people and taking photos”. She also recalled being asked out by a Danish athlete and not being allowed to go!


A young Dorothy


She then broke the world record and would have been favourite for the 1940 or 1944 Olympics but, of course both were cancelled because of the war. She was again the silver medallist in London 1948. Ironically both times she was first equal and under current rules – least failures – she would have taken gold both times.

Dorothy when I met her in 2011

She also competed in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics as well as winning two golds in the British Empire [Commonwealth] Games.



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