Evelyn Furtsch

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Olympic medal record
Women's athletics
Representing the  United States
Gold medal – first place 1932 Los Angeles 4x100 metre relay

Evelyn Furtsch Ojeda (April 17, 1914 – March 5, 2015) was an American athlete.[1] Furtsch was awarded a gold medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay with teammates Mary Carew, Annette Rogers and Wilhelmina von Bremen at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Furtsch was born in San Diego, California in 1914.[2][3] She and her family moved to Orange County when she was 8 years old. During her Junior year at Tustin High School, a gym teacher noticed that she ran very fast. It was brought to the attention of Tustin High School track coach, Vincent Humeston where she was soon training and running with the boys track team. At the time, only big cities and big city schools had organized women's track & field. Humeston got in touch with the Los Angeles Athletic Club, who were at the time, training girls for the 1932 Olympics. In 1931, Furtsch placed in an AAU championship for the only time, when she finished second in the 100 yards.[4]

In the 1932 Olympics, the Women's 4 x 100 meters relay team broke both the Olympic and world record. Although they ran it in 46.9 seconds, the Olympics at that time did not count tenths of a second. The Olympic record, therefore, was recorded at 47.0 seconds, while the world record at 46.9 seconds. Furtsch was the first woman in Orange County to win an Olympic gold medal. She received the Ralph Clark Distinguished Citizen Award in Santa Ana in 1984.[4] She was elected into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.

Furtsch was the last surviving member of the 1932 4x100 meter relay team. She turned 100 in April 2014, thus becoming the first female Olympic champion in athletics to live for a century and the first female American Olympic gold medalist to do so.[5] She and Godfrey Rampling are the only Olympic track and field gold medalists to live for a century.[4]


  1. ^ Casiano Jr, Louis (24 March 2015). "Evelyn Furtsch Ojeda, an Olympic gold medalist and Santa Ana resident, dies at 100". Orange County Register. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Many sources report her date of birth: August 16, 1911, but the Hodak interview reports April 17, 1914, which is right according to the California Birth Index.
  3. ^ Biography at sports-reference.com
  4. ^ a b c Olympic Bio of the Day: Evelyn Furtsch
  5. ^ "1932 Olympic champion Evelyn Furtsch reaches historic milestone". General News. International Association of Athletics Federations. 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 

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