Eugene Van Roosbroeck has finally received his Olympic gold medal, 62 years after he won it at the 1948 Olympics in London. The 82-year-old Belgian and two teammate won the gold medal for the best team in the cycle race.
International Olympic Committee president Jacque Rogge presented Van Roosbroeck with his medal on Monday. Lode Wouters, 81, was too ill to attend the ceremony, but will receive his medal later. The third team member, Leon De Lathouwer, has passed away.
After the 194 kilometre road race event at the London games, the three Belgian simply got on the bus and went back to their housing, not knowing they had won gold.
"It was complete chaos after the race - there was no ceremony or stage to collect the medals," Van Roosbroeck recounted.
"Lode Wouters finished third, Leon De Lathouwer was fourth and I was ninth. With these results we were first in the team standings but that was a result that they drew up only after many calculations. After the event we jumped on the double-decker bus back to the barracks that served as the Olympic Village. A day later I was back in Belgium."
“It was only afterwards that we heard we were the best team. None of us thought that there was a medal awarded for the team event. The honour was enough for us."