Lien Gisolf

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Lien Gisolf
Lien Gisolf.jpg
Lien Gisolf equals the world record in 1929.
Personal information
Full name Carolina Anna Gisolf
Nationality Dutch
Born 13 July 1910
Fort de Kock, former Dutch East Indies
Died 30 May 1993 (aged 82)
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 69 kg (152 lb)
Sport High jump
Club Hygiea, Den Haag

Carolina Anna "Lien" Gisolf (Fort de Kock-former Dutch East Indies, July 13, 1910 - Amstelveen, May 30, 1993) was a Dutch athlete, who competed mainly in the high jump in the 1920s and 1930s.

Her talent was discovered during school competition in 1926, when it turned out that she jumped 30 centimetres higher than her classmates. Hardly two years later she established an unofficial Dutch record by jumping 1.465 metres first, on July 3, 1928 in Brussels followed by a new world record of 1.582 metres, this being achieved in the second match of her life! Perhaps Lien Gisolf herself was the most surprised of all about this achievement. Without telling her the officials in Brussels happened to have moved the bar upward not with the usual two, but with eight centimetres.

The same year Lien Gisolf achieved something that made her most famous: she competed for the Netherlands in the Olympic Games held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where she jumped over 1.56 and won the silver medal. By this achievement she became the first Dutch female athlete to win an Olympic medal.

In the years after, she would adjust her world record twice. In 1929, she jumped over 1.608 metres, followed by 1.623 metres in 1932. During the World Games for Female Athletes in Prague in 1930 Lien Gisolf became second again with 1.57. When she had to jump a barrage with her only opponent left, German Ellen Braumüller, she tore a muscle, ruining her victory chances. The German high jump athlete leaped for joy because of this unexpected piece of luck. As a result the 25.000 Prague spectators were furious, refusing to applaud for her during the ceremony, but giving ‘silver’ Lien Gisolf an ovation.

In 1932, she was again present at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. A disappointing fourth place turned out to be the highest possible result for Lien Gisolf. After that she rapidly lost interest in athletics and ended her career after four years. She preferred hockey after all and took leave with three Dutch championships in the high jump in her pocket.


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