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Gehnäll Persson

Full name: Gehnäll Persson
Nickname(s): Gean
Gender: Male
Born: August 21, 1910 in Steneby, Bengtsfors, Västra Götaland, Sweden
Died: July 16, 1976 in Köping, Västmanland, Sweden
Affiliations: K4 IF, Umeå (SWE)
Country: SWE Sweden
Sport: Equestrianism

Medals: 2 Gold (2 Total)

Biography

Gehnäll Persson has the distinction of being the only athlete in Olympic history, who was disqualified for not being ranked high enough in the Army. When the Fédération Equestrian Internationale (FEI) was formed in 1921, it was decided that only commissioned army officers could compete at the Olympic Games, as it was considered that only they would compete in the appropriate amateur and sporting manner. That rule still stood during the 1948 Olympics, where Sweden, who had dominated the sport since the 1912 Olympics, appeared to win the dressage team event by a wide margin. But just after the Olympics, the French secretary-general of FEI Georges Hector, discovered that Persson had been promoted from the rank of fanjunkare (roughly a sergeant-major in the US Army) to lieutenant and was demoted back to fanjunkare after the Olympics, which led the FEI to disqualify him in April 1949 and thus the team gold medals were awarded to France. In November 1949, FEI loosened the restrictions, which allowed non-commissioned officers, civilians and women to compete at future Olympics.

Persson was back at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, winning the team dressage gold both times. His best individual finish was at the 1956 Olympics, when he finished fourth. Persson was the best Swedish dressage rider of the 1950s, winning national titles in 1951-55, 1959 and 1961. By profession Persson was a remount rider, a man whose job was to prepare young horses for the military, serving with the K4 Norrland Dragoon Regiment. He retired from the Army in 1968.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Summer 37 London Equestrianism Men's Dressage, Individual Sweden SWE AC DQ
1948 Summer 37 London Equestrianism Men's Dressage, Team Sweden SWE AC DNF/DQ
1952 Summer 41 Helsinki Equestrianism Mixed Dressage, Individual Sweden SWE 9
1952 Summer 41 Helsinki Equestrianism Mixed Dressage, Team Sweden SWE 1 Gold
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Mixed Dressage, Individual Sweden SWE 4
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Mixed Dressage, Team Sweden SWE 1 Gold

Men's Dressage, Individual

Games Age City Sport Country Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS
1948 Summer 37 London Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Final Standings AC DQ [444.0]
1948 Summer 37 London Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Judges' Scores Judge #1 AC [146.0]
1948 Summer 37 London Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Judges' Scores Judge #2 AC [164.5]
1948 Summer 37 London Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Judges' Scores Judge #3 AC [133.5]

Mixed Dressage, Individual

Games Age City Sport Country Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS
1952 Summer 41 Helsinki Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Final Standings 9 505.50
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Final Standings 4 821.00
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Judges' Scores Judge #1 5 154.0
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Judges' Scores Judge #2 9 153.0
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Judges' Scores Judge #3 2 190.0
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Judges' Scores Judge #4 15 147.0
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Sweden Knaust Judges' Scores Judge #5 4 177.0

Men's Dressage, Team

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS
1948 Summer 37 London Equestrianism Sweden SWE Knaust Final Standings AC DNF/DQ [444.0]/DQ

Mixed Dressage, Team

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS
1952 Summer 41 Helsinki Equestrianism Sweden SWE Knaust Final Standings 1 505.50
1956 Equestrian 45 Stockholm Equestrianism Sweden SWE Knaust Final Standings 1 821.00
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