Sports | October 15, 2017 5:00 am

A 105-Year-Old Olympian Remembers the 1936 Berlin Games

Baron Eduard von Falz-Fein was credited with bringing Olympic winter sports to Liechtenstein.

It’s not every day that you read about someone who’s lived to the age of 105. And regardless of what that person has done in their life, it’s a rarity to hear a first-person perspective of a time most of us might only have the chance of reading about in a history book.

The New York Times‘ Jeré Longman recently got that chance, interviewing 105-year-old Baron Eduard von Falz-Fein, who is credited with having brought Olympic winter sports to the tiny country of Liechtenstein—the smallest in the world to have won an Olympic medal (they won two golds in 1980).

RealClearLife has teased out some of the most incredible facts from von Falz-Fein’s personal history.

-He was born into a wealthy family on September 14, 1912, in what is now Ukraine. His family was friends with the Romanovs.

-To give you an idea of how old the Baron is, he’s lived through the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, World War I and World War II, and the Russian Revolution.

-Liechtenstein’s team debuted at the 1936 Olympics, and the Baron was on sight as a sports reporter, positioned behind Hitler. “The Germans thought, if we put the press table behind Hitler nobody will put a bomb, so everything is safe,” he told the Times.

-Upon realizing that Haiti’s flag was similar to Liechtenstein’s at the ’36 games, the Baron called his country’s government and had them make a tweak to it. It was his idea to add the crown to the flag.

-In 1956, the Baron personally drove the Liechtenstein Olympic team in his luxury car to the games in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.