Tollien Schuurman

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Tollien Schuurman
Tollien Schuurman 1932.jpg
Tollien Schuurman in 1932
Personal information
Full nameTollina Wilhelmina Schuurman
Born20 January 1913
Zorgvlied, the Netherlands
Died29 January 1994 (aged 81)
Apeldoorn, the Netherlands
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
ClubUDI, Arnhem
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals 1932
Medal record
Representing the Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Women's World Games
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 1930 Prague 100 m
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 1930 Prague 200 m

Tollina Wilhelmina "Tollien" Schuurman (20 January 1913 – 29 January 1994) was a Dutch sprint runner who set three world records in the 100 m and 200 m events between 1930 and 1933. She competed at the 1932 Summer Olympics in the 100 m and 4 × 100 m events and finished in fourth place in the relay. [1]


Schuurman was the third daughter in a family of educators – her father was the principal of an elementary school. In her early years she trained in athletics in summers and in gymnastics in winters. In 1929 she won her first athletics competition and in 1930 set her first national and world records in the 100 m at 12.0 s. The same year she won two silver medals in the sprint at the 1930 Women's World Games. [2]

In 1932 she improved her world record to 11.9 s and was an Olympic favorite. However, she could not concentrate during the games, partly due to a long trip to Los Angeles and lack of coach there. She made a false start in the semifinals and then finished fourth, missing the final. [3]

After returning home she trained hard for the 1936 Games, winning the national titles in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump in 1933 and 1934. However, at the 1934 Women's World Games she severely tore her muscle in the first event, the 60 m, and dropped out of competitions. Schuurman came from a political engaged family, members of the SDAP and knew a lot about politics. When Hitler ruled out Jews to the Olympic games she refused to participate as an athlete. She wouldn' t walk for Hitler even if this was the only and last opportunity to an Olympic medal.

Later she worked as an assistant at a dental clinic, a pedicure practitioner and athletics coach. [3] In 1948 she saved two girls from drowning off the coast of Vlieland. In 1952 she moved to Amsterdam, where she ran a pedicure shop until 1965. [4] She died in 1994 aged 81. A local athletics club AV Impala in Drachten named their athletics complex after her.

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  1. Tollien Schuurman.
  2. Heere, A. en Kappenburg, B. (2000) 1870 – 2000, 130 jaar atletiek in Nederland, Groenevelt b.v., ISBN   9090128670
  3. 1 2 Dohle, M. (2008) Het verwoeste leven van Foekje Dillema, Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers/Het Sporthuis, ISBN   9789029566872
  4. Teunissen, Jos (8 October 1988) "de vrouw die niet voor Hitler liep"