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World’s oldest Olympian Felix Sienra, who competed at 1948 London Olympics, dies aged 107

Felix Sienra came second in Race 2 of the Firefly class and finished sixth overall in this at the 1948 Olympics in London  (PA Archive)
Felix Sienra came second in Race 2 of the Firefly class and finished sixth overall in this at the 1948 Olympics in London (PA Archive)

The world’s oldest surviving Olympian, Felix Sienra, has died at the age of 107.

Sienra represented Uruguay in sailing at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.

His daughter Magdalena on Monday confirmed his death to the German news outlet Welt.

“He took off the captain’s armband and got out of the boat,” Magdalena wrote of the former sailor, who died peacefully in his sleep.

The Montevideo-born star was also a doctor of law and celebrated his birthday on only January 21.

He came second in Race 2 of the Firefly class and finished sixth overall in this at the 1948 Games.

“We regret to announce the death of Félix Sienra, former vice president of the Uruguayan Olympic Committee and representative of the Uruguayan flag in sailing at the London Olympic Games in 1948,” Uruguay’s Olympic board, on which Sienra served, said.

Sienra had recently said in an interview that he didn’t get “into a sailing boat any more” but was feeling “good” and “fit”.

The last time Sienra had been in a boat was on his 100th birthday. “At that time, we made a multi-day trip to a paradise island,” he said.

World Cup win memories

Apart from his former Olympic age record, Sienra also enjoyed another once-in-a-lifetime sporting moment.

As a young boy, he watched his native Uruguay beat Argentina 4-2 to lift the first Fifa World Cup as hosts.

Euro Weekly has reported that Sienra was possibly the last “surviving contemporary witness” to the momentous triumph.

“I celebrated the win with friends,” Sienra once said. “We grilled fish and drank a lot of wine. That night was the first and last time I got really drunk.”

Who is the new oldest surviving Olympian?

This title goes to the French former long jumper, Yvonne Chabot-Curtet, who turns 103 on May 28, 2023.

She finished eighth in the 1948 Olympics long jump final and 23rd at the 1952 Games in Helsinki.

After Chabot-Curtet, eventing rider Willy Busing is the next oldest living Olympian. Busing, who turns 102 on March 2, 2023, won silver and bronze at the 1952 Games.