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Adhemar Ferreira da Silva (September 29, 1927 – January 12, 2001) was a Brazilian triple jumper. He won two Olympic gold medals and set four world records in athletics, the last being 16.56 metres in 1955 Pan American Games. In his early career he also competed in the long jump, placing fourth at the 1951 Pan American Games.[3]

Adhemar da Silva
Adhemar da Silva 1956b.jpg
Adhemar da Silva at the 1956 Olympics
Personal information
Full nameAdhemar Ferreira da Silva[1]
Born(1927-09-29)September 29, 1927[2]
São Paulo, Brazil[2]
DiedJanuary 12, 2001(2001-01-12) (aged 73)[2]
São Paulo, Brazil[2]
Height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Weight69 kg (152 lb)[1]
Event(s)Triple jump, long jump
ClubSão Paulo FC
Vasco da Gama, Rio de Janeiro
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)TJ – 16.56 m (1955)
LJ – 6.93 m (1951)[3]
Updated on 13 June 2015.


Da Silva was born in São Paulo, in a poor family, and began competing in the triple jump in 1947. Under the coaching of German Dietrich Gerner, he soon showed his talent, breaking the national record and qualifying for the Brazilian team to 1948 Olympics, where he placed only 8th. However, at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki and the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, he became a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder and the only Brazilian athlete to have won gold in two consecutive Olympics until the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. There, the Brazilian women's volleyball squad defended their title, obtained four years earlier in Beijing, making six of their members consecutive Olympic champions (Jaqueline Carvalho, Sheilla Castro, Fabiana Claudino, Thaísa Menezes, Fabiana Oliveira and Paula Pequeno).

He was a member of the São Paulo Futebol Clube, and because of him, the team coat has two gold stars above the emblem. He also competed for Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama from 1955 to 1959.

In 1959, da Silva acted in the film Orfeu Negro, portraying Death.[4] It won the Golden Palm of the Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

De Silva made his final Olympic appearance in Rome in 1960, finishing 14th.[2] In 2012 he was inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Adhemar da Silva". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Adhemar Ferreira da Silva". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b Adhemar Ferreira da Silva.
  4. ^ "HALL OF FAME PROFILE – ADHEMAR DA SILVA (BRAZIL)". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  5. ^ "IAAF Hall of Fame created – First 12 Members announced". IAAF. March 8, 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Naoto Tajima
Leonid Shcherbakov
Men's triple jump world record holder
3 December 1950 – 19 July 1953
16 March 1955 – 19 July 1958
Succeeded by
Leonid Shcherbakov
Oleg Ryakhovskiy