Hubert Houben

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHubert•Houben
Used nameHubert•Houben
Born24 February 1898 in Goch, Nordrhein-Westfalen (GER)
Died9 November 1956 in Krefeld, Nordrhein-Westfalen (GER)
Measurements169 cm / 67 kg
AffiliationsTuS Bochum, Bochum (GER)
NOC Germany


Hubert Houben began as a soccer player, gymnast and swimmer, eventually becoming one of the world’s best sprinters in the 1920s. On 16 August 1924 he sensationally won in Berlin in the first meeting of German and American athletes after the War, defeating the Olympic Champions Loren Murchison and Charley Paddock, and Houben was carried out of the arena by enthusiastic spectators.

He could not take part in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games as Germany was not invited to these Games, because of its role in World War I. Houben then competed at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics in the 100 m, but was eliminated in the semifinal, although he won a silver medal with the 4x100 m alongside Georg Lammers, Richard Corts and Helmut Körnig. The relay was leading when Houben and Körnig had to slow down during the final changeover to avoid missing the exchange. This relay team also set a world record with 40.7 the same year. Houben was invited as a guest of honor at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

During his career Houben collected 9 German titles, 13 regional Western German ones, was British Champion in the 220 y in 1927, set 10 world records, and 14 European ones. He was first employed by a bank, later owned a sporting goods shop in Krefeld, and then worked as a sports journalist and city employee of his home town Krefeld. He died at 58-years-old from throat cancer. In Krefeld the Hubert-Houben-Arena is named after him, while in Goch he is remembered by the Hubert-Houben-Stadium and a road.

Personal Best: 100 – 10.4 (1927).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Summer Olympics Athletics GER Hubert Houben
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 4 h1 r3/4
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Germany 2 Silver