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Interesting Facts about a Javelin Thrower Marlene Ahrens, The First Female Athlete from Chile to Win an Olympic Medal



Interesting Facts about a Javelin Thrower Marlene Ahrens, The First Female Athlete from Chile to Win an Olympic Medal

Today’s Google Doodle honors Marlene Ahrens, the first female athlete from Chile to win an Olympic medal and a javelin thrower. Ahrens was a gifted athlete who excelled in javelin throwing and went on to win national championships in tennis. Her achievements contributed to the unprecedented rise in Chilean pride, and her legacy as a javelin thrower still motivates the current generation. She won her silver medal at the Melbourne Olympic Games on November 29, 1956. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Marlene Ahrens.

Celebrating Marlene Ahrens Google Doodle
Google Doodle for Celebrating Marlene Ahrens

Who was Marlene Ahrens?

The athlete Marlene Ahrens Ostertag-Ebensperger was from Chile. With a throw of 50.38 meters in the javelin, she took home the silver medal from the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. Journalist Karin Ebensperger was her mother.

Marlene Ahrens Facts

  1. The daughter of German immigrants, Marlene Ahrens Ostertag was born in Concepción, Biobío, Chile on July 27, 1933.
  2. She was the only female member of the Olympic team and the flag bearer for Chile in Melbourne.
  3. She competed in the 1956 Javelin Throw and, with a throw of 50.38 meters, took home the silver medal. By doing this, she became the first and, as of 2020, the only woman from Chile to win an Olympic medal.
  4. Following the games, Marlene Ahrens became a gold medallist in the Pan American Games of 1963 in São Paulo, Brazil, and 1959 in Chicago.
  5. In addition to winning the javelin in the 1962 Ibero-American Games, she also won the javelin title four times in a row at the South American Games in 1956, 1958, 1961, and 1963.
  6. Marlene Ahrens also carried the flag for her country once more in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, even though she didn’t win a medal.
  7. During the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Ahrens flew the Chilean flag.
  8. A disagreement with the Chilean newspaper Clarín led to Ahrens’ forced retirement, and she was prohibited from competing in the Tokyo Summer Olympics of 1964.
  9. Marlene Ahrens started playing tennis after athletics, and she and Omar Pabst won the national mixed doubles competition in Chile in 1967. She suffered a knee injury shortly after and committed her life to equestrianism.
  10. After that, she focused on horse riding, which was her real passion. Eventually, in 1995, Ahrens competed in team dressage at the Pan American Games in Mar del Plata, where she was 62 years old.
  11. In 2012, at the age of 79, Marlene Ahrens retired from horse riding.
  12. She married hockey player Jorge Roberto Ebensperger Grassau, who was also descended from German settlers; Karin Ebensperger and Roberto Ebensperger are the two children they gave birth to.
  13. She is Marlén Eguiguren’s grandmother; like her mother Karin, she works as a journalist.
  14. Marlene Ahrens died at the age of 86 from heart failure on June 17, 2020, in Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan (CHI).
  15. On November 29, 2023, Google featured a Google Doodle on its homepage to celebrate Marlene Ahrens.
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