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Billy Fiske

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam Mead Lindsley "Billy"•Fiske, III
Used nameBilly•Fiske
Born4 June 1911 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Died17 August 1940 in Chichester, West Sussex, England (GBR)
NOC United States


From a wealthy banking family, Billy Fiske has been described as the quintessential amateur. He was educated in Europe where he played various sports and was one of the Americans chosen in 1928 to form a bobsled team. Fiske became famous as the driver of the two gold medal sleds, although he was only 16 years old when he won the 1928 gold medal. Later, on the toboggan run at St. Moritz, he became known as perhaps the greatest Cresta rider of all time. On the Cresta Run, he took the Grand National title in 1936 and 1938 and won the Curzon Cup in 1935 and 1937.

Fiske worked in this country for a time, as an executive with a motion picture company, but he spent much of his time in Europe and Britain, where in 1938 he married the Countess of Warwick. Billy Fiske had many British friends and when war broke out, he felt it only right to fight alongside them. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1939, the first American to do so. In August 1940, on returning from a mission, he was shot but landed his plane, only to die a few hours later, and he is considered the first American to die in World War II. Fiske was laid to rest in England, at Boxgrove Priory, near Chichester. The epitaph on his grave reads, “An American citizen who died that England might live.” In his honor, the National AAU 4-man bobsled trophy was named the Billy Fiske Memorial Trophy.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Winter Olympics Bobsleigh (Bobsleigh) USA Billy Fiske
Four/Five, Men (Olympic) United States 2 1 Gold
1932 Winter Olympics Bobsleigh (Bobsleigh) USA Billy Fiske
Four, Men (Olympic) United States 1 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1932 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony USA Billy Fiske

Olympic family relations

Special Notes