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Dutch runner Fanny Blankers-Koen celebrated with a Google Doodle

Olympian multi-gold-medallist would have turned 100 today

Google has honoured Fanny Blankers-Koen, the Dutch runner who would have turned 100 today, with a Google Doodle. Blankers-Koen is the only woman ever to have won four gold medals at one Olympics.

She did it in 1948, at London’s Wembley Stadium, in the 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles (in which she also set a world record), and 4 x 100m relay. Nicknamed the “Flying Housewife” and hurt by criticism that she must be neglecting her two children, Blankers-Koen almost quit in the middle of the games. Her husband, who was also her coach, persuaded her to stay.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

According to Google’s History of the Google Doodle, the doodle originated with the founders playfully inserting a simple “Burning Man” stick figure behind the second ‘o’ in the logo during the 1998 festival in the Nevada desert. The practice has grown so much over the years, with the doodle celebrating events both famous and obscure, that it’s now overseen by a team of anonymous illustrators known as “doodlers.”

Blankers-Koen was feted as female Athlete of the Century by the IAAF in 1999. She passed away in 2004 at the age of 85.