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Olympic Games Deaths

In the pursuit of an Olympic gold medal athletes often push themselves to their physical limits. In some cases this has led to death. As you will see below, there are also other tragic fatalities of athletes while attending the Olympic Games. There have also been four athletes who have lost their lives during the Winter Games.

Francisco Lazaro, 1912

At the 1912 Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm, the Portuguese runner Francisco Lazaro collapsed from sunstroke and heart trouble at the 29 km mark of the marathon, and died the next day. He was aged 21.

Nicolae Berechet, 1936

During the 1936 berlin Olympic Games, Romanian Boxer Nicolae Berechet was eliminated in the first round of the featherweight class. On August 11, 1936, a few days after match, he died mysteriously of blood poisoning and was buried in Berlin. There are suggestions that he died as a result of injuries sustained in the fight.

olympic drug scandalKnud Enemark Jensen, 1960

At the Rome Olympics on August 26, 1960, Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen collapsed during the 100 km team time trial, fatally fracturing his skull. He was 23 years old. The autopsy showed he had taken amphetamines and Roniacol (which may decrease blood pressure). Competing in 93°F (34°C) heat, the official cause of death was heat stroke. His death led the IOC to form a medical commission in 1967 and to begin drug testing at the 1968 Games.

Israeli Olympic Team Members (Munich Massacre), 1972

Most tragic of all of the Olympic Games deaths is the killing of 11 members of the Israeli team during the 1972 Munich Olympics, as a result of a terrorist attack by Palestinian extremists. The 11 killed were athletes, coaches and officials. Here are the names of the 11 Israeli Olympic Team members:

Other Olympic Related Deaths

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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