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Henri Decoin

Full name: Joseph Henri Decoin
Gender: Male
Born: March 18, 1890 in Paris, Paris, France
Died: July 4, 1969 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Affiliations: SCUF, Paris (FRA)
Country: FRA France
Sport: Swimming, Water Polo


Olympian Henri Decoin made appearances at the 1908 and 1912 editions of the Summer Games as a swimmer, but earned a name for himself later in life as a film director and screenwriter in France. Competing out of Sporting Club Universitaire de France (SCUF) he was a national record holder in freestyle swimming (and won the 500m event at the national level in 1911), but did not finish the first round of the men’s 400m freestyle at the 1908 Summer Olympics. It was his experience as an international water polo player, however, that brought him to the 1912 edition, where the French team finished joint fifth (and last) with Hungary. He served as an aviator during World War I and took up a job as a sports journalist after the conflict, writing for L'Auto, L'Intransigeant, and Paris-Soir. In 1926 he published his first book, the prize-winning Quinze Rounds (Fifteen Rounds), which began a long career of writing that included works for both film and theatre. He directed his first film, Les requins du pétrole (The Sharks of Oil), in 1933 and would have 50 directing credits to his name at his death, in addition to over 50 more as a writer. He was married four times, most notably to actress and singer Danielle Darrieux in his second marriage, and was the father of Prix Goncourt-winning writer Didier Decoin.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming Men's 400 metres Freestyle France FRA AC h1 r1/3 DNF
1912 Summer 22 Stockholm Water Polo Men's Water Polo France FRA 5T

Men's Water Polo

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result G
1912 Summer 22 Stockholm Water Polo France FRA Round One Match #2 2 1912-07-08 SWE 7, FRA 2 1

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank
1908 Summer 18 London Swimming France Round One Heat One AC DNF
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