METCALFE Ralph (1910-1978) United States / Track and field
It would be hard to find anyone as unlucky as Ralph Metcalfe, the American sprinter who won two medals - a silver and a bronze - in the 100 m and 200 m at Los Angeles in 1932.In the 100 m, Metcalfe was beaten by a hair's breadth by his fellow American Eddy Tolan, who earned himself the nickname "Twinkletoes".In the 200 m, Metcalfe was even more unlucky. He was led the race but only came third. The judges miscalculated the length of his lane and he had to run three metres further than his opponents.But, ever the good loser, Metcalfe did not ask for the race to be rerun. He did not want to spoil Tolan's Olympic double.Metcalfe finally got his gold medal four years later with the US team led by Jesse Owens. He then abandoned athletics in favour of politics where he became, no doubt, an honest congressman.