|Netherlands' most legendary female athlete of all times|
Dutch athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen died on Sunday the 25th of January aged 85. She had been ill for a long time and lived in a nursing home in Hoofddorp. Fanny Blankers-Koen was laid to rest in Hoofddorp on Thursday.
Fanny Blankers-Koen was the Netherlands' most legendary female athlete of all time, as evidenced by the four gold medals she won at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. It earned her the nicknames the 'Flying Housewife' and the 'Flying Dutchmam'. The athletics community awarded her its highest honour in 1999. The former champion was voted female athlete of the twentieth century during an IAAF gala.
Although it long seemed unthinkable, it became inevitable during the last few years. Even a 'queen with a man's legs' will fall one day. Fanny Blankers-Koen, the female athlete of the twentieth century, the Flying Housewife, the Flying Dutchmam, is gone. But the legend of the woman whose body never failed her until the later stages of her 85-year life will live on forever.
She will be remembered eternally for winning gold four times at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. That was Fanny Blankers-Koen's greatest achievement, even though she accomplished so much more. But as everyone knows, real fame is what you earn at the Olympics.
Fanny later viewed the brown beans and cod-liver oil her father fed her as a child as power food, or "my performance-enhancing drugs" as she put it herself. Although she couldn't stand the taste of the cod-liver oil it probably helped. And as for the four gold medals she would later win in London, she didn't think it was all that special. "The athletics track was round the corner from my house. I would train twice a week while my children played in the sandbox," she said after being named female athlete of the century. She found it rather odd that the IAAF awarded her the honorary title.