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Noël Vandernotte

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 2
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameÉtienne Noël Henri•Vandernotte
Used nameNoël•Vandernotte
Born25 December 1923 in Anglet, Pyrénées-Atlantiques (FRA)
Died19 June 2020 in Beaucaire, Gard (FRA)
Measurements37 kg
AffiliationsCA Nantes, Nantes (FRA)
NOC France


At the age of 12 years, 233 days, Noël Vandernotte won two Olympic rowing bronze medals and became the youngest medalist at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, as well as the youngest-ever French Olympic medalist. He won his prizes in the coxed pairs, with Georges Tapie and Marceau Fourcade, and in the coxed fours alongside his father Fernand, uncle Marcel, Jean Cosmat, and Marcel Chauvigné. The same quintet had also taken silver at the 1934 European Championships behind the Italians. In addition to rowing, Noël was also active in bodybuilding and basketball.

During World War II, Fernand was a member of the French resistance and was eventually sent to a concentration camp, although he survived. Noël remained hidden and on occasion used evidence of his Olympic participation to avoid arrest by German patrols. He continued to row for a short period after the conflict, winning the national championship in the coxed fours in 1946, but eventually settled into a career as an insurance agent. In 2015 he was made a chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Rowing FRA Noël Vandernotte
Coxed Pairs, Men (Olympic) France 3 Bronze
Coxed Fours, Men (Olympic) France 3 Bronze

Olympic family relations