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Sunday, 12 February 2012

Gymnast who witnessed Hitler refusing to shake Jesse Owens' hand at 1936 Games to take part in second Olympics... in 2012 torch ceremony

As a gymnast at the closing ceremony of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin she witnessed one of the most notorious scenes in the Games’ history.
Hildegard Fraser had just turned 13 and had no idea why Adolf Hitler had refused to shake the hand of black athlete Jesse Owens, who had just won four gold medals.
Now, 76 years on, German-born Mrs Fraser is looking forward to her second Olympics – this time as a torch carrier in a ceremonial procession to mark the 2012 Games in London.

Hildegard Fraser as a young girl in Germany
Hildegard Fraser is now set to take part in a Olympic ceremonial procession
Hildegard Fraser, left, in Germany before the start of World War II and right, ahead of her participation in a ceremonial Olympic procession
The 88-year-old grandmother, who has lived in Forres, Morayshire, for the last 60 years after marrying a Scottish soldier she met during World War 2, says she is thrilled to be back on Olympics duty after such a long break.
Back in 1936 she had no idea her country was on the brink of a world war sparked by the Nazi leader who, in her naivete, she admired at the time.

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