1956, 1960, 1964
Skating for France, Calmat competed in the men's figure skating competiton for three consecutive Olympiads. After finishing ninth overall at the 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo (Italy) Games, he improved to sixth at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley (California). At his third, and final Olympiad (1964 in Innsbruck, Austria), Calmat finally medaled when he finished second in the men's competition and won the silver medal.
At the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, France, Calmat did not compete, but he was elected to carry the torch and light the Olympic flame, the first, and to date, only Jew to ever be so honored.
One of the best male figure skaters in the world during the 1950s and 1960s, Calmat was the gold medalist at the World Championships in 1965, the silver medalist in 1963, and 1964, and the bronze medalist in 1961 and 1962. He also won gold medals at the European Championships in 1962, 1963, and 1966. A member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Calmat became France's Minister of Youth and Sports in 1984, and was later a member of the French Parliament.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Aug. 31, 1940
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000, (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999)