Evelyn Furtsch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Evelyn Furtsch
Evelyn Furtsch 1932b.jpg
Furtsch in 1932
Personal information
BornApril 17, 1914
San Diego, California, U.S.
DiedMarch 5, 2015 (aged 100)
Santa Ana, California, U.S.
Height158 cm (5 ft 2 in)
Weight43 kg (95 lb)
Event(s)100 m, 200 m
ClubLos Angeles Athletic Club
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 m – 12.2 (1932)[1]
200 m – 26.5 (1932)[2]

Evelyn Pearl Furtsch (later Ojeda, April 17, 1914 – March 5, 2015) was an American sprint runner.[3] Furtsch won the gold medal in the 4×100 m 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.[1][4] 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.[5]

At the 1932 Olympics, the American women's 4×100 m 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.[1]

After the Olympics Furtsch studied for two years at Santa Ana College. There was no track team at the college at the time, so she ended her sports career. She married Joe Ojeda, and together with him ran a real estate brokerage company in Santa Ana, California.[1]

Furtsch was the first woman from Orange County to win an Olympic gold medal. She received the Ralph Clark Distinguished Citizen Award in Santa Ana in 1984,[5] and was elected into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. She also received the Ralph Clark Distinguished Citizen Award in Santa Ana.[1]

Furtsch was the last surviving member of the 1932 American 4×100 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.[6] She and Godfrey Rampling are the only Olympic track and field gold medalists to live for a century.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Evelyn Furtsch. Sports-reference.com. Retrieved on July 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Evelyn Furtsch. trackfield.brinkster.net
  3. ^ Casiano Jr, Louis (March 24, 2015). "Evelyn Furtsch Ojeda, an Olympic gold medalist and Santa Ana resident, dies at 100". Orange County Register. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c Olympic Bio of the Day: Evelyn Furtsch. Olympstats.com (April 17, 2014). Retrieved on 2017-07-24.
  6. ^ "1932 Olympic champion Evelyn Furtsch reaches historic milestone". General News. International Association of Athletics Federations. April 17, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2014.

External links[edit]