The Biggest Scandals Of The Olympic Games

1936 Winner Of Women’s High Jump Was Actually A Man

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At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, German athlete Dora Ratjen won fourth place at the women’s high jump but soon went on to break the high jump world record a few years later. It was an amazing feat before officials discovered Ratjen’s unfair advantage — she was actually male. There was confusion surrounding Ratjen’s biology at his birth, but his parents decided to raise him as a girl anyway, even though he knew he was not one while growing up.

Ratjen was arrested in 1939, but a prosecutor stated that fraud had not really taken place since he had no intention to reap financial rewards. Some speculate that the Nazis forced Ratjen to compete as a woman to defeat a Jewish athlete also competing for Germany.