Olympians enlisted in World War I

40 Olympians enlisted in WWI and 3 made the ultimate sacrifice. Nine medallists enlisted. Many fought and then went on to Olympic glory and some competed either side of the Great War.

On the centenary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, the Australian Olympic Committee has compiled the following list of Olympians who enlisted in World War I (WW I) to recognise their service to the country. 

Three members from the Stockholm 1912 team – Cecil Healy (swimming), Keith Heritage (rowing) and Claude Ross (athletics) – made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the war. Healy won gold and silver medals at Stockholm. He was one of nine medallists who enlisted. 

One of Healy’s Stockholm teammates who survived the war was triple swimming medallist Harold Hardwick (1 gold, 2 bronze). Another of the survivors was swimmer Frank Beaurepairewho was a dual medallist at each of London 1908, Antwerp 1920 and Paris 1924. 

Six members of the gold medal-winning rugby team from London 1908 enlisted. After playing for the First Wallabies in 1908 Daniel ‘Danny’ Carroll won gold again in Antwerp 1920, for the United States. He served, and was decorated, with the US Army during the war. 

In total, 16 men who returned from the war went on to compete at subsequent Olympic Games. Along with Carroll’s historic second gold medal, other medallists were swimmers Ivan Stedman and Harry Hay who joined with Frank Beaurepaire to win relay silver at Antwerp 1920 and Nick Winter who won triple jump gold in Paris 1924.    

The 40 Olympians who enlisted for WW I are associated alphabetically with this Olympic Feature. Click on an athlete’s names to read his biography.