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Ria Stalman

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMaria Geertruida "Ria"•Stalman
Used nameRia•Stalman
Born11 December 1951 in Delft (NED)
Measurements179 cm / 82 kg
AffiliationsSparta, Den Haag (NED)
NOC Netherlands


Competing in both shot put and discus throw, the high point of Ria Stalman’s career was at the 1984 Olympics, where she won the discus gold medal. She was considered the favorite after the Soviet-led boycott left the dominant Eastern Bloc throwers out of Olympics, and she came through, winning the gold medal with a throw of 65.36 in the final round of the competition. For this feat, Stalman was elected as the Dutch sportswoman of the year in 1984. Stalman’s only other major international tournament besides the 1984 Olympics were the 1982 European Championships, where she was 12th in the discus. Stalman was the Dutch discus champion in 1973-77, and 1979-83 and shot put champion in 1976-77 and 1981-83. Stalman also won the French Open Championships in discus throw in 1976, the NCAA discus throw title in 1978, while studying at Arizona State University, and was American champion in the shot put in 1984 and the discus throw in 1982 and 1984.

Stalman retired shortly after the 1984 Olympics to work as a journalist and athletics commentator with Eurosport. In 2016, she admitted in a TV interview that she had been doping when she won her 1984 gold medal. She noted that “in the last 2½ years of my career I took a small daily dose of anabolic steroids.” Stalman said she decided to begin doping after seeing bulky Eastern Bloc throwers commonly out-throw her. She stated, “If you can’t beat them, join them, and that’s what I did.”

Personal Best: DT – 71.22 (1984).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1984 Summer Olympics Athletics NED Ria Stalman
Discus Throw, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1984 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony NED Ria Stalman

Special Notes