Jules Noël

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For the painter, see Jules Achille Noël.
Jules Noël
Born (1903-01-27)27 January 1903
Norrent-Fontes, Pas-de-Calais, France
Died 19 May 1940(1940-05-19) (aged 37)
Near Escaudœuvres
Occupation French soldier, athlete
Height 6'3" (190 cm)
Weight 198 lbs (90 kg)
Jules Noël
Medal record
Men's Athletics: Shot put & Discus
Competitor for  France
Championnats de France d'athlétisme[1]
Silver August 1927 Shot
Silver July 1928 Shot
Gold July 1928 Discus
Gold July 1929 Shot
Gold July 1929 Discus
Gold July 1930 Shot
Gold July 1930 Discus
Silver June 1932 Shot
Gold June 1932 Discus
Bronze July 1933 Shot
Silver July 1933 Discus
Bronze July 1934 Shot
Gold July 1934 Discus
Gold July 1936 Shot
Gold July 1936 Discus
Gold July 1938 Shot
Gold July 1938 Discus
Gold July 1939 Shot
Gold July 1939 Discus

Jules Noël (27 January 1903 – 19 May 1940) was a French athlete who competed in discus and shot put at two European Athletics Championships and three Olympic Games.


Jules Noël was born on 27 January 1903 in Norrent-Fontes, Pas-de-Calais, France.[2] He joined the French Army and rose to the rank of Sergeant.[3]


After an impressive silver medal at the Championnats de France d'athlétisme, a competition in which he would achieve 19 medals including 13 golds over the next 12 years,[1] Noël was selected for the French Olympic discus team for the 1928 Games in Amsterdam. Though he finished some way off the medal positions he went on to break the French discus record in the trials for the 1932 Summer Olympics, throwing 49.44 m.[2][4] He travelled to the Games in Los Angeles, California and led out the team in the opening ceremony as the French flag bearer.[2][5] The French team convinced the U.S. officials that wine was an essential part of their competitors' diets, receiving special permission to circumvent the prohibition in force across the country. Noël took full advantage of this and is reported as "swigging champagne with his compatriots" in the locker room between rounds at the discus event. There was then further controversy when Noël finished in fourth place: the officials in charge of the event disallowed a throw that is believed to have been farther than gold medal winner John Anderson's 49.39 m attempt. The throw was not accepted because the officials did not see where it landed, their attention being drawn to the pole vaulting competition instead. Noël was allowed an additional attempt but could not match his earlier performance, reaching 47.74 m and finishing fourth.[6][7][8] Anderson went on to improve his distance to 49.49 m, an Olympic record.[6]

Noël went on to compete at the inaugural European Athletics Championships in 1934 in Turin, Italy, finishing seventh in the discus and tenth in the shot put.[2] The 1936 Olympic Games were held in Berlin and Noël was again selected as the flag bearer for his country.[5] Noël returned to European competition at the 1938 Championships in Paris, again finishing seventh in the discus and improving to ninth in the shot put.[2]


Noël died during World War II from a wound sustained during a battle outside Escaudœuvres near Cambrai.[2]


  1. ^ a b Dupuy, Gérard. Les finalistes des championnats de France - 1888 à 1969 (The finals of the Championships of France - 1888 to 1969). 20 October 2011. Commission de la documentation et de l'histoire (Literature and History Commission). Accessed 30 October 2011. (French)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jules Noël. Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Accessed 30 October 2011.
  3. ^ Foreign Athletes Continue To Pour Into Country For Big Games. 13 July 1932. Pittsburg Post-Gazette. p.12. Accessed 30 October 2011.
  4. ^ Track. Lewiston Evening Journal. 6 July 1932. p.13. Accessed 30 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b Ireland. Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Accessed 30 October 2011.
  6. ^ a b Athletics at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games: Men's Discus Throw. Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Accessed 30 October 2011.
  7. ^ August 3 down the years: Gold for Jesse Owens. ESPN. Accessed 30 October 2011.
  8. ^ Cousineau, Phil. "The Olympic odyssey: rekindling the true spirit of the great games". 2003. Quest Books.