Interesting Facts About Europe’s Sports

Did you know…

Stella Walsh -Olympic champion- was not a sportswoman. Five decades later, an autopsy confirmed that Stella was a hermaphrodite. Under the flag of Poland, Stella (or Stanislawa Walasiewicz) won a gold medal in the women’s 100m at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles (USA). In the 1920s and 1930s, she lived and trained in Cleveland (Ohio, USA), but competed for Poland.Walsh won more than 1,000 championships (100m, 200m, 4x100m, 80m hurdles, long jump, discus throw, shot put, javelin throw). For many decades , Stella was compared to Mildred “Babe” Didrickson and Francina “Fanny” Elsje Blankers-Koen , two of the most famous sportswomen of the 20th century.

Laura Flessel-Colovic ( France ) was one of the best fencers in the early 2000s. At the 1996 Olympics, she won two gold medals. Laura was born in Guadeloupe, an island in the Caribbean. Bruce Crumley, who is a journalist, wrote: “For someone who lunges to glory swathed in a get-up resembling a bee-keeper’s outfit, French fencer Laura Flessel-Colovic has had no problem establishing herself as one of France’s most chic and photogenic sports personalities. Since first grabbing attention with a pair of gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, she has wowed sports fans with graceful and tenacious swordswomanship, adding three world championship titles to a list of international laurels. Away from her foils, the stunning 29-year-old has enhanced her celebrity status with flourishes of wit and charm that have made her a star with a larger French public that doesn’t know an eppe from its elbow…”

Holland is the birthplace of Inge de Brujin, one of the greatest female swimmers of the 21st century.

The Federal Republic of Germany has never won an Olympic medal in basketball.

Water Polo is one of the most popular sports in Hungary. At the 1974 European Championship, Hungary finished 1st and earning a place at the FINA World Cup. At the1975 FINA World Championship, it won the silver medal.

The Portuguese Republic has many foreign-born sportspersons: Nelson Evora ( triple jump , long jump / world champion / Cape Verde-Africa ), Michel de Sousa Fernades Alcobia de almeida ( judo / Angola-Africa ), Francis Obikwelu ( 100m, 200m, 4x100m / Nigeria-Africa ), Enezaide do Rosario da Vera Cruz Gomez ( long jump / Sao Tome & Principe-Africa ), Helder Ornelas ( 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m, marathon / Angola-Africa ), Lucrecia Jardim ( 100m, 200m, 4x100m / Angola-Africa ), Yazaldes Nascimento ( 100m, 200m, 4x100m / Sao Tome & Principe-Africa ), Mario Silva ( 1,500m / Guinea Bissau-Africa ), Jose Luis da Cruz Vidigal ( football / Angola-Africa ), Joao Gomes ( fencing / Cape Verde-Africa ), Jose Bosingwa da Silva ( soccer / Democratic Republic of the Congo ), Luis Carlos Lourenco da Silva ( soccer / Angola-Africa ).

Sweden won the Handball World Cup in 1958.

Football and athletics are two of the most popular sports in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Robert Tisdall ( Ireland ) won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the 1932 Summer Olympics in the United States.

Yugoslavia -currently Serbia- won the first Olympic medal gold medal of its history in men’s basketball in Moscow ’80. In I974, Yugoslavia was second place in the World Championship in San Juan de Puerto Rico. Two years later, the team won the silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Canada.

Sofia (Bulgaria) hosted the FIVB Men’s World Cup in 1970. Final standings:

1.German Democratic Republic ( currently Germany )



4.Czechoslovakia ( currently Czech Republic / Slovak Republic )


6.USSR ( currently Russia )



9.North Korea

10.Yugoslavia ( currently Serbia )




14.Holland / Netherlands











Bulgaria has had many famous sportswomen in the 20th century: Ekaterina Dofovska ( biathlon / Olympic champion, 1998), Jordanka Donkova ( athletics / Olympic champion, 1988 ), Stefka Kostandinova ( athletics / Olympic champion, 1996 ), Ivanka Khristova ( track & field / Olympic gold medalist, 1976 ), Tania Dangalakova ( swimming / Olympic gold medalist, 1988 ).

Great Britain won the gold medal in ice hockey in the Winter Olympics in 1936.

Bosnia & Herzegovina – it is about 2 times the size of Vermont- has never won an Olympic medal.

The Kingdom of Spain has many Olympic champions: Juan Llaneras ( individual points race / cycling ), Fermin Cacho Ruiz ( 1,500m / track & field ), Daniel Plaza Montero ( 20-kilometer walk / athletics ), Martin Lopez-Zubero (200-meter backstroke / aquatics ), Gervasio Deferr ( vault / gymnastics ), Isabel Fernandez ( lightweight 57 kg / judo ), Francisco Fernandez Ochoa ( slalom / alpine skiing ), Miguel Indurain ( individual time trial / cycling ).

The Swiss Confederation sent 27 sportswomen to the 1984 Summer Olympics.

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino -it is one of the world’s oldest republics- has never won an Olympic medal.

Next Post

Top Three Exciting Summer Vacation Travel Books

The summers are perfect for vacations. With the kids at home and weather getting sultry by the week, this is when you should be packing your bags and heading out for the countryside for a perfect weekend getaway experience. This would be the best thing to do, unfortunately sometimes we […]

You May Like