10 Greatest Olympic Athletes who passed away

Ten of the greatest Olympic athletes rocked the sporting world, only to leave it in their demise

Nikolay Yefimovich Andrianov, born on October 14, 1952 in Vladimir, Russia, won the most number of medals among male gymnasts representing Soviet Union, with a total of 15 medals, (7 gold). Died on March 21, 2011 at his hometown, Nikolav, 58, passed away due to multiple system atrophy.

A native of Monza e Brianza, Italy, fencing champion Edoardo Mangiarotti was born on April 7, 1919. With six gold, five silver and three bronze medals, he was awarded with an Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee in 2003. He died on May 25, 2012 at age 93 in Milano, Italy.

Another male Russian gymnast makes the list with 13 Olympic (7 gold) medals. Boris Shakhlin, hailed from Ishim, Russian SFSR, was born on January 27, 1932. The "Man of Iron" earned a place in the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2002. Died in Ukraine on May 30, 2008, he passed away at the age of 76.

Paavo Johannes Nurmi a.k.a "Flying Finn" of Varsinais-Suomi, Finland, was born on June 13, 1897. With a 9-gold-medal win in the 1920s, this Olympic running legend set 22 official and 13 unofficial world records in his athletic career. He died in October 2, 1973, in Uusimaa, Finland.

Paralyzed by polio as a child, Raymond Clarence "Ray" Ewry gained world recognition for winning a total of 10 gold medals. The standing jump athlete was born on October 14, 1873 in Indiana, United States. He died in New York at the age of 63 on October 1, 1937.

Seven-time gold medalist for gymnastics, Viktor Ivanovych Chukarin was born on November 9, 1921 in Krasnoarmeyskoye, Krym, Ukraine. This former prisoner-of-war during World War II died in Ukraine on August 25, 1984 as he passed away at the age of 62.

A then 60-year-old Oscar Gomer Swahn won his first gold medal in shooting at the 1908 Olympics. The oldest athlete to win an Olympic medal at age 72, this six-time medalist was born in Västra Götaland, Sweden on October 20, 1847 and died in Stockholm on May 1, 1927.

In a span of an hour, James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens a.k.a. "The Buckeye Bullet" has set five world records for long jump, running and hurdles at the 1935 Big Ten Championships. Born on June 23, 1940 in Tennessee, the four-time gold Olympic medalist died on November 12, 1994.

Born premature on June 23, 1940 in Tennessee, Wilma Glodean Rudolph suffered from polio as a child. She could barely walk until age 11. Later, she became the first woman to win three gold medals in track and field in a single Olympic Season. She died on November 12, 1994.

Belgian archer Hubert Van Innis was born on February 24, 1866 in Vlaams Brabant. With a record of 10 Olympic medals (6 gold and 4 silver), the supreme archer was an architect by profession. He lived to be 95 years old before he died on November 25, 1961 in Belgium.

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