History of Women
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History of Women

Haters Said She Was Too Old — Then She Won 4 Olympic Gold Medals

She also got flack for being a wife and mother, but it didn’t stop Fanny from chasing her dream

Left (source): Fanny Blankers-Koen competes in the 4x100 relay in Rotterdam, South Holland, one month after carrying the Dutch women’s team to victory in the same event at the 1948 Olympics. Right (source): Blankers-Koen at Olympic Day in Amsterdam, 1949.

Upon arriving in London to compete in the 1948 Olympics, 30-year-old Fanny Blankers-Koen lifted a finger, pointed it directly at the man who had called her “too old to make the grade,” and simply…

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