Frantz Reichel

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Non-starter • Administrator
Full nameFrançois Étienne "Frantz"•Reichel
Used nameFrantz•Reichel
Born16 March 1871 in Paris VIe, Paris (FRA)
Died24 March 1932 in Paris VIIIe, Paris (FRA)
Measurements169 cm
AffiliationsRacing Club de France, Paris (FRA)
NOC France
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Frantz Reichel was involved in sports in many ways: he competed in, wrote about and governed sports. He was born in 1871 during the attack on the French anarchist government of Paris. His father was the treasurer of the USFSA (French Union of Athletic Sports Societies), meeting with the body’s secretary-general, Pierre de Coubertin through him. He served as the chief press officer at the 1894 Sorbonne Congress where the Olympic Movement was founded. He would later succeed De Coubertin in his function at the USFSA.

Reichel was a multi-talented sportsman, excelling mostly in rugby and athletics. He won French titles in the 110 m hurdles (1891 in 20.2), cross country (1890 and 1891) and 1 km walking, and held the French record for the one hour race (1892 with 16.611 km). Reichel was also a competitor at the first Olympic Games, competing in the 110 m hurdles and the 400 metres. He doubled as a journalist in Athens, writing for the French magazine Vélo. He reached the final of the hurdles race, but forfeited to assist his compatriot Lermusiaux in the marathon. He competed in his other sport, rugby, at the second Olympics in Paris, winning both matches with the French team. Earlier, he had won two French titles and captained the French national team in its second official match in 1906. He is regarded as the doyen of French rugby, and is honoured with the Championnat Reichel, the championship for young French rugby players.

Apart from being the secretary general of the USFSA, Reichel founded the French Boxing Federation and the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH), of which he was president from 1926 until his death. He was also involved in the French National Olympic Committee and was the secretary-general of the organizing committee of the 1924 Paris Olympics. He also kept active as a journalist, writing for various French papers. While working for Le Figaro, he became the first European journalist to fly an airplane. Piloted by Wilbur Wright, he set a new distance record for flights with a passenger. He went on to become co-founder and first president (1924-1932) of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS).

Personal Bests: 400 – unknown; 110H – unknown.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1896 Summer Olympics Athletics FRA Frantz Reichel
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 h2 r1/2
800 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
110 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 2 h1 r1/2
Swimming (Aquatics) FRA Frantz Reichel
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
1900 Summer Olympics Rugby (Rugby) FRA Frantz Reichel
Rugby, Men (Olympic) Union des Sociétés Français de Sports Athletiques 1 Gold

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Secretary General Comité exécutif des Jeux de la VIIIe Olympiade FRA Frantz Reichel
President Fédération Internationale de Hockey 1926—1932 FRA Frantz Reichel

Special Notes