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Harry Blackstaffe

Full name: Henry Thomas "Harry" Blackstaffe
Nickname(s): Blackie
Gender: Male
Weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
Born: July 28, 1868 in Islington, Greater London, Great Britain
Died: August 22, 1951 in West Wickham, Greater London, Great Britain
Affiliations: Vesta Rowing Club, Putney (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Rowing

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)


Three days after his 40th birthday, Harry Blackstaffe of the Vesta Rowing club met [Alexander McCulloch] of Winchester and University College, Oxford in the final of the singles sculls in the 1908 Olympics, a race that brought together the two men who were undoubtedly the best scullers in England. Although McCulloch was exactly half Blackstaffe’s age, the final proved be the finest race of the Olympic Regatta and it was impossible to pick the winner until the last 50 yards when Blackstaffe held on to his light advantage to become the oldest sculling champion in Olympic history. After this great victory, Blackstaffe retired and ended a career which had brought him nine victories in the London Cup, five wins in the Wingfield Sculls and one victory in the Diamond Sculls. All these successes proved particularly gratifying to a man who, because he was a butcher, initially experienced great difficulty in having his entry accepted for Henley. Following his Olympic victory, Blackstaffe was made a Freeman of the City of London and at the time of his death he was Senior Life Vice-President of the Amateur Rowing Association. Blackstaffe was also a useful cross-country runner and represented South London Harriers in the National Championships.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1908 Summer 39 London Rowing Men's Single Sculls Great Britain GBR 1 Gold

Men's Single Sculls

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit T
1908 Summer 39 London Rowing Great Britain GBR Final Round 9:26.0
1908 Summer 39 London Rowing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Heat Two 10:14.0
1908 Summer 39 London Rowing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Heat Three 10:03.0
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