Google Doodle Celebrates Esteemed Athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen's 100th Birthday

Fanny Blankers-Koen
Courtesy of Google

Google doodle of Fanny Blankers-Koen.

Today (April 26), Google is honoring the 100th birthday of Dutch runner Fanny Blankers-Koen.

Born in 1918 near Baar in the Netherlands, Koen, at age 17, set a national record for the women’s 800m. By 18, she had competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and placed fifth in the 4x100m and sixth in high jump.

Her true accomplishment came in 1948, when she competed in the 1948 London Games despite being constantly harassed for her age.

Prior to the competition, Koen received letters from strangers criticizing her for continuing to race despite being a mother of two. The 30-year-old competed regardless and crushed her opponents in the women’s 200m by 0.7 seconds, which was the highest margin in Olympics 200m history. The record still stands today, and she was eventually given the nickname "The Flying Housewife."

Happy Birthday, Fanny! Check out the doodle here.