India’s oldest living woman Olympian, Mary D’Souza, whose feats in the 1952 Olympics as part of the first batch of women India was sending to the Games remain forgotten in all parts of India except her hometown in Goa, turned 92 on Tuesday.
Currently living with her daughter in the United States after struggling through years of being harassed by her landlord in Mumbai, the 92-year-old Mary D’Souza took a break from her activity of playing online bridge on Tuesday as her near and dear ones held a small ceremony.
Asia’s fastest woman in the 1950s, Mary had turned 21 during the 1952 Olympics in Finland.
Had Mary’s 1952 moment happened in present times, governments and private entities would have been falling over each other to sponsor her. But times were so different then that no one wished her on the 21st birthday and her achievement never found place even at the family table.
Mary is the oldest woman Olympian India still has to treasure. Across genders, there are 7 surviving Indian Olympians above the age of 90.
Across the world, there are 11 surviving Olympians above the age of 100. Nine of them are from Europe, one is from USA and one is from Canada. 99-year-old Wu Chenzang of China, a basketball player from the 1948 Olympics, is the oldest living Olympian from Asia.
Oldest Indian Olympians
|Olympian||Birth date||Sport||Medals||Olympics editions|
|Amit Singh Bakshi||17/9/1925||Hockey||Gold||1956 Melbourne|
|Suhas Chatterjee||1925||Water Polo||–||1948 London|
|Raghbir Lal||15/11/1929||Hockey||Gold, Gold||1952 Helsinki, 1956 Melbourne|
|Mary D’Souza||18/7/1931||Athletics||–||1952 Helsinki|
|Valli Asari Mookan||1931||Weightlifting||–||1956 Melbourne|
|Muhammad Salaam||1931||Football||–||1956 Melbourne|
|Sajan Singh||4/4/1932||Wrestling||–||1960 Rome|
By The Bridge