Full name: Frederick Ferdinand "Freddie" Wolff
Height: 6'0" (184 cm)
Weight: 174 lbs (79 kg)
Born: October 13, 1910 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Died: January 26, 1988 in Marylebone, Greater London, Great Britain
Affiliations: L.A.C., London (GBR)
Country: Great Britain
Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)
After winning his first race at the Kowloon Cricket Club, Hong Kong in 1919, Freddie Wolff went away to school in England where he attended Beaumont College. On leaving school in 1929, he joined the London Athletic Club and narrowly failed to win selection for the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. He reached the final of the AAA 220 yards that year and achieved the fastest 400 metre time of his career when he ran 48.6 in Paris.
In 1933, Wolff won his only AAA 440 yards title and later in the season was the winner in the international match against France. His next major international test came in the 4x400 metre relay at the 1936 Olympics when he ran the first leg for the British team that won the gold medals with a new European record of 3:09.0. Although he handed over the baton in fourth place at the end of his leg, he had just managed to keep within striking distance of the strong American team and Godfrey Rampling, Bill Roberts, and Godfrey Brown eventually recorded a comfortable victory.
After an international tour of Scandinavia in 1937, Wolff retired and devoted himself to the family business. He served in the war as a captain in the Oxford & Buck Light Infantry and then went on to head his grandfather’s firm of commodity brokers. In 1970 he served as chairman of the London Metal Exchange and in 1975 he was awarded the CBE for his services to invisible exports. On his retirement from business, the Financial Times described him as “the best-known metal trader in the world”, but Wolff always said that his Olympic gold medal was one piece of metal that he would never trade.
The good-natured Freddie Wolff died on the day that a reception was held at Buckingham Palace for all surviving British Olympic medalists but the British Olympic Association had earlier delivered his commemorative award to his bedside at the London Clinic.
Personal Best(s): 400 – 48.6 (1934); 440y – 48.9e (1936).
|1936 Summer||25||Berlin||Athletics||Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay||Great Britain||GBR||1||Gold|