The summer of '32 was theirs. They were young and bursting with the exhilaration of self-discovery, as was Los Angeles, where they fulfilled their Olympic dreams. The 13 men and women on the following pages were all gold medalists then, and now they're among the few living winners of '32. Although in their 60s, 70s and 80s, they clearly retain much of the vigor and joie de vivre of those triumphant Olympians of so very long ago.
HOP, STEP AND JUMP
I was invited to Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford's home for dinner. When I met him, I didn't say hello or shake hands. My greeting was a sweeping fencing motion, as in Fairbanks' movie "The Three Musketeers." This made him very happy with laughter. I asked him to act some of the movie, so he came down his stairs doing his famous fencing.... I still strong, like Harley-Davidson. I can still control Harley-Davidson-and my wife.
Nambu, 80, lives with his wife, Hisako, in Suita, a city between Osaka and Kyoto. A former sportswriter and phys ed professor, he's now head of a women's junior college in nearby Tottori.
This coat is the one I wore during the opening and closing ceremonies in Los Angeles. I plan to wear it on my last journey, from my home to the cemetery. I'm hoping I don't get fat, so the coat can still fit me. This was the top of my life, the peak of my career. There's no finer garment I could wear on my last trip.
Guglielmetti, 72 and a retired Milan tramway cashier, goes every day to that city's century-old Pro-Patria club, where he oversees the training of more than 1,000 budding gymnasts.
In answer to the question, did the gold medal bring you a lot of attention: No, none whatsoever. Until now. It's too bad it comes 50 years too late. Too bad it didn't come at a time I could have made use of it. You have to remember that 1932 was only the second time women competed in the Olympics. I went to Los Angeles [from her hometown of Brookline, Pa.] with only $5 in my pocket.
Shiley, 72, who got married to physicist Herman Newhouse in 1945, when she was in the U.S. Navy, is a housewife, mother of three and grandmother of three.