Olympic Trivia: First known defection

Published on December 3rd, 2019

The first person known to defect at an Olympic Games came at London 1948 when Marie Provaznikova, leader of the Czechoslovakian women’s gymnastics team, refused to return home because “there is no freedom of speech, of the press or of assembly”.

After a few months’ stay in England she moved to the United States and resided there for the rest of her life, teaching PE and organizing Sokol units in America and internationally. She died in 1992, at the age of 100.

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