|Born||October 15, 1898|
Ouled Djellal, Algeria
|Died||October 18, 1959 61)(aged|
Ahmed Boughèra El Ouafi (Arabic : أحمد بوغيرا العوافي; 15 October 1898 – 18 October 1959) was an Algerian athlete during the time Algeria was part of France. In 1928, he won the Olympic gold medal in the marathon.
Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes (counties). It has the highest human development index of all non-island African countries.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.
El Ouafi was born in the town of Ouled Djellal, joining the French military regiment later (at that time, Algeria was part of French Algeria). One of his superior officers noticed El Ouafi's outstanding athletic abilities, and decided to send him to a military sports competition in France. He made a good impression there, and was allowed to enter qualification for the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris in the marathon event.
Ouled Djellal is a town and commune in Biskra Province, Algeria. According to the 1998 census it has a population of 45,622. more recent census says it has over 66,000 people. It is the second biggest city in the state of Biskra because of its population and economics. Mayor Rachid Boufateh announced that Ouled Djellal is to be a State in the next Administrative Division.
French Algeria, also known as Colonial Algeria, began in 1830 with the invasion of Algiers and lasted until 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France.
The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France.
Boughèra El Ouafi managed to qualify, and completed his first Olympic marathon, running for France, in seventh position. This good result allowed him to prepare more extensively for the next Games, held in Amsterdam. In the 1928 competition, he ran behind the leaders for the first three quarters of the race, overtaking them some 5 km before the end. He was never caught by any of the other runners, and finished first, 26 seconds ahead of second-placed Manuel Plaza from Chile. El Ouafi was the only representative of French athletics to win gold at the 1928 Olympics.
The 1928 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the IX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was celebrated from 28 July to 12 August 1928 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The city of Amsterdam had previously bid for the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, but was obliged to give way to war-torn Antwerp in Belgium for the 1920 Games and Pierre de Coubertin's Paris for the 1924 Games.
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After his surprise victory, El Ouafi toured the United States. However, the money he earned with this trip disqualified him as an amateur, causing him to leave the sport, and he opened a cafe in Paris. El Ouafi remained forgotten until 1956, when another Algerian, Alain Mimoun, also won the Olympic marathon. Reporters went to seek out the other Algerian who had won 28 years earlier, and found him a pauper.
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El Ouafi was killed while in a café, three days after his 61st birthday. Accounts of his death vary. French media then claimed that he was targeted by members of the National Liberation Front after he had refused to support them; other accounts say he was a bystander victim of an argument between family members and revolutionaries, or was killed during a family quarrel.
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