Elvira Guerra

Elvira Guerra ([ɛlˈviːra ˈɡwɛrra]; 1855–1937) was an Italian equestrienne and circus performer, notable for competing at the 1900 Summer Olympics, the first Games at which women were allowed to compete.[1][2] She was the first woman to represent Italy at the Olympics.[3][4]

Elvira Guerra
Personal information
Bornc. 1855
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died1937 (age about 82)
Marseille, France
OccupationCircus performer
Country Kingdom of Italy
Event(s)Hack and Hunter
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals1900

Early lifeEdit

Images from the hacks and hunter combined event at the 1900 Olympics.

Guerra was born in Saint Petersburg around 1855, daughter of circus performer Rodolfo Guerra.[5]

The Times mentions her in an 1882 article on Hengler's Grand Cirque.[6] In 1890, she opened the Grand Hippodrome in Bordeaux.[7]

In 1900, she competed in the 1900 Summer Olympics in the hacks and hunter combined (chevaux de selle) atop her horse Libertin, one of only two female riders, finishing outside the top four.[8][9]

She died in Marseille in 1937.[5] A street in Bordeaux is named Rue Elvira Guerra in her honour.[10]


  1. ^ Fuller, Linda K. (October 4, 2018). Female Olympian and Paralympian Events: Analyses, Backgrounds, and Timelines. Springer. ISBN 9783319767925 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Daniels, Stephanie; Tedder, Anita (January 3, 2000). 'A Proper Spectacle': Women Olympians 1900-1936. ZeNaNA Press. ISBN 9781876718121 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "First female competitors at the Olympics by country". Olympedia. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Elvira Guerra". Olympedia. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  5. ^ a b amazone, ML équitation en. "Ecuyère de cirque et amazone cavalière olympique : Elvira Guerra". Equitation monte en amazone.
  6. ^ "Elvira Guerra-The forgotten female Olympic equestrian".
  7. ^ Rèche, Albert (January 3, 1991). La Belle Epoque à Bordeaux. Sud-Ouest. ISBN 9782879010267 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Elvira Guerra Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2020-04-18.
  9. ^ Williams, Jean (April 24, 2014). A Contemporary History of Women's Sport, Part One: Sporting Women, 1850-1960. Routledge. ISBN 9781317746669 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Elio, Trifari. "Che sorpresa: Italia presente a tutti i Giochi". archiviostorico.gazzetta.it.