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Michel de Carvalho

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameMichel Rey•de Carvalho
Used nameMichel•de Carvalho
Born21 July 1944 in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, England (GBR)
Measurements178 cm / 72 kg
NOC Great Britain


The son of a Brazilian father and an English mother, Michel de Carvalho learn to ski whilst at school in Switzerland. It was his ability to ski that led to the film producer Michael Balcon casting him in a small role in the award winning 1952 film “The Divided Heart”. This led to a brief but successful Hollywood career under the name “Michel Ray” in which he took the lead role in the Oscar-winning “The Brave One” and also starred alongside Henry Fonda and Anthony Perkins in the western “The Tin Star”. He retired from acting in 1962 after playing the role of the Arab boy “Faraj” in the classic “Lawrence of Arabia”.

De Carvalho graduated from Harvard University with a degree in business studies and for the next decade combined his business and sporting careers. He was a member of the British alpine skiing team in the late sixties and then along with fellow skier Jeremy Palmer-Tompkinson switched to the luge. The two men posted 20th place finishes in both the 1972 and 1976 with de Carvalho also competing in the singles in 1976.

In his business career he worked for White Weld & Co, Rothschild and Credit Suisse and became a multi-millionaire through his investments in the London markets. In 1995 he became the first non-Japanese member of the board of the Japanese brokerage firm Nikko Securities. His wife Charlene is the daughter of the Dutch brewing magnate Freddy Heineken, who upon the death of her father in 2002 inherited a $6 billion fortune and took over from Queen Beatrix the title of richest woman from the Netherlands.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Winter Olympics Luge GBR Michel de Carvalho
Doubles, Open (Olympic) Jeremy Palmer-Tomkinson 20
1976 Winter Olympics Luge GBR Michel de Carvalho
Singles, Men (Olympic) 29
Doubles, Open (Olympic) Jeremy Palmer-Tomkinson 20

Special Notes