Josy Barthel’s running talent was discovered during World War II. His first major title came in the 800 m at the 1947 Military World Championships (CISM) in Berlin, followed by winning the 800 and 1,500 at the 1948 CISM. Barthel competed at the 1948 London Olympics in London, finishing ninth in the 1,500 m final, but he later won titles at the World University Games in 1949 (1,500 m) and 1951 (800 m and 1,500 m). The apex of Barthel’s career was the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, where he surprised the crowd and himself by winning the 1,500 m with a strong finish. He also competed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, after which he retired from competitive running. Barthel was Luxembourg champion in 800 m and 1,500 m from 1946-56. From 1962-72 he was president of the Luxembourg Athletics Federation and then from 1973-77 was president of the Luxembourgish Olympic and Sporting Committee. He was also member of the Luxembourg government, serving as Minister for Transport, Minister for Energy and Minister for the Environment from 1977-84.
Personal Bests: 800 – 1:51.0 (1947); 1500 – 3:44.1 (1952).