Google Doodle pays tribute to Marlene Ahrens today by releasing a dedicated doodle to the renowned athlete. In the year 1956, she won a silver medal at the Melbourne Olympic Games on November 28.
Ahrens was born in Chile’s Concépcion on July 17, in the year 1933. Ahrens’s family moved to the Aconcagua Valley following Chilean earthquake of 1939. While living in Aconcagua Valley, Ahrens developed her interest in countryside athletics like horseback riding, tree climbing and swimming.
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About ten years after moving to Aconcagua Valley, Ahrens was playing with her amateur hockey team along to the beach. All of her friends were tossing rocks into the ocean while Ahrens threw one that soared past all the other splashes. It was then that her her teammates suggested her to try her hand at javelin. Ahrens participated in her first amateur contest few days later. Her javelin shot went so far that she became one of the best javelin players in South America.
In 1956Ahrens was 23-year-old when she won gold in the South American Athletics Championship and silver in the Melbourne Olympics with no specialized training, defying all odds. She also served as the flag-bearer in the opening parade and represented the only woman from Chile.
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In South American competitions, Ahrens won five more gold medals. She served as the flag-bearer to the 1960 Rome Olympics. She then developed an interest in tennis and very soon became one of the top local tennis players. In 1967, she also won Chile’s tournament in mixed doubles.
Ahrens became the Vice President of the Chilean Olympic Committee in 2000, where she served for 12 years. She rode horses until the age of 79. Google Doodle’s reach spans regions of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.
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