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René, Baron de Lunden

Full name: René Henri Théophile Florent Marie Joseph de Lunden
Gender: Male
Born: June 2, 1902 in Brussels, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium
Died: April 3, 1942 in Chichester, West Sussex, Great Britain
Title: Baron
Country: BEL Belgium
Sport: Bobsleigh

Biography

When his father died in 1921, René Lunden inherited his title and castle in Humbeek (just north of Brussels). Although he graduated in mining engineering at Leuven University, he never used his degree, instead running the castle's stables with his mother and serving a short stint as a diplomat in South America. A decent steeplechaser on horseback, René was a top bobsledder. In 1939, be became the first (and as of 2009, only) Belgian to win a world title in the sport, grabbing a gold medal in the two-man event at St. Moritz, with Jean Coops as his brakesman. When called up for military service in 1925, Lunden first served with the cavalry, before joining the Belgian air force. When the Germans invaded Belgium in 1940, Lunden's regiment was forced to flee for France, and eventually to England. There, Lunden joined the RAF. Too old to become a pilot, he became a navigator. In 1942, returning from a mission over France, Lunden's Douglas Boston Mk III bomber crashed at the airfield. He was rushed to Chichester Hospital, but died shortly after arrival. Originally buried in nearby Pirbright, Lunden, he and other Belgian war casualties were carried over to Belgium in 1949 and re-buried there.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Men's Two Belgium-1 BEL 8
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Men's Four Belgium-1 BEL 8

Men's Two

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Eric De Spoelberch Final Standings
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Eric De Spoelberch Run 1
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Eric De Spoelberch Run 2
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Eric De Spoelberch Run 3
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Eric De Spoelberch Run 4

Men's Four

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Final Standings
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Run 1
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Run 2
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Run 3
1936 Winter 33 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Bobsleigh Belgium-1 BEL Run 4