Full name: Jean Catherine Desforges (-Pickering)
Height: 5'7" (171 cm)
Weight: 141 lbs (64 kg)
Born: July 4, 1929 in Forest Gate, Greater London, Great Britain
Died: March 25, 2013 in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, Great Britain
Affiliations: Essex Ladies Athletic Club, East Ham (GBR)
Country: Great Britain
Related Olympians: Mother of Shaun Pickering.
Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)
During her career, which lasted from 1947-55, Jean Desforges competed at the 1952 Olympics, 1950 and 1954 European Championships, 1950 British Empire Games and 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. She won a bronze medal in the 4x100 relay and finished fifth in the 80 m hurdles at the 1952 Olympics. At the European Championships Desforges won two titles, winning a gold in the 4x100 relay in 1950 and gold in the 1954 long jump. As of 2013, Desforges is the only British athlete to have won a European gold medal in both a track and a field event. She was also fifth in 1950 and sixth in 1954 in the 80 metre hurdles at the European Championships. Desforges also won two bronzes at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games – in long jump and the 80 m hurdles. She won eight British titles – four in the 80 metre hurdles (1949, 1952-54), twice in the long jump (1953-54), and twice in the pentathlon (1953-54).
Desforges retired from sports after marrying Ron Pickering, a prominent athletics coach and television commentator. Their son Shaun Pickering also became an athlete, who competed at the 1996 Olympics in shot put and won a shot put bronze at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. After her husband's death in 1991, Desforges created the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund to help support athletics in Britain. By 2013, the Memorial Fund had given out £1.3 million in grants to young athletes, coaches and athletics groups and around 75% of the British track and field team at that time had been Ron Pickering Memorial Fund grant recipients earlier in their career. Desforges was awarded an MBE for her services to athletics and was inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.
Personal Bests\: 100y – 11.1 (1953); 80H – 11.1 (1954); LJ – 6.10 (1953).
|1952 Summer||23||Helsinki||Athletics||Women's 80 metres Hurdles||Great Britain||GBR||5|
|1952 Summer||23||Helsinki||Athletics||Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay||Great Britain||GBR||3||Bronze|
|1952 Summer||23||Helsinki||Athletics||Great Britain||Final||5||11.6||11.75||1|
|1952 Summer||23||Helsinki||Athletics||Great Britain||Semi-Finals||Heat One||3||QU||10.9w||11.37w|
|1952 Summer||23||Helsinki||Athletics||Great Britain||Round One||Heat Four||1||QU||11.4||11.51|