On Olympics: A Seat Near Hitler and Other Olympic Tales from the Baron, 105

It was nearly 2 p.m. on a cloudy afternoon. . He was not in a hurry.

“At 7 o’clock we will say goodbye,” the Baron said.

After an hour, his caretaker intervened. He needed rest, doctor’s orders. Still, the Baron had so many stories to tell: How he found and promoted the country’s first two Olympic skiers. And tweaked the design of Liechtenstein’s national flag. And attended 16 Winter and Summer Games as a sportswriter, official and coach.

There were other stories he did not have time for that day, that others would tell for him: His birth on Sept. 14, 1912, to a wealthy family in what is now the grassy steppe of Ukraine. His family’s nature preserve of zebras, camels and ostriches, which he called “the world’s largest zoo.” The family’s acquaintance with the…

Read Story