Olivia Borlée

Olivia Borlée (born 10 April 1986 in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert) is a retired Belgian sprinter who specialized in the 200 metres.[1] Her personal best time in the 200 is 22.98 seconds, achieved in July 2006 in Brussels. She has a personal best of 11.39 seconds in the 100 metres. She won a gold medal in the 4x100 m relay at the 2008 Summer Olympics with teammates Hanna Mariën, Élodie Ouédraogo, and Kim Gevaert in a time of 42.54 seconds, which set a new Belgian record.

Olivia Borlée
20090819 Olivia Borlée.jpg
Olivia Borlée at the 2009 World Championships.
Medal record
Representing  Belgium
Women's athletics
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2008 Beijing 4x100 m relay
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Osaka 4x100 m relay

Sport careerEdit

Borlée represented Belgium at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She competed at the 4x100 metres relay together with Gevaert, Mariën and Ouédraogo. In their first round heat, they placed first in front of Great Britain, Brazil, and Nigeria. Their time of 42.92 seconds was the third fastest time overall out of sixteen participating nations. With this result, they qualified for the final in which they sprinted to a time of 42.54 seconds and 2nd place behind Russia but in front of Nigeria to take the silver medal, missing out on the gold medal by 0.23 seconds.[1] However, one of the Russian runners, Yuliya Chermoshanskaya, was later found to have used two banned performance-enhancing drugs, resulting in the Russian team's disqualification, thereby promoting Belgium to the gold medal position. Borlée was awarded the gold medal eight years later on September 10, 2016.[2]

Borlée represented Belgium at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She competed in the 200 metres event. She finished 7th in her heat with a time of 23.53 seconds. She did not qualify for the semifinals.[3] She was the flag bearer for Belgium during the Parade of Nations.[4] She retired after the Rio games.[5]

Fashion careerEdit

After retiring from professional sport, Borlée and Olympic teammate Elodie Ouedraogo teamed up again to found the sustainable sportswear brand 4254,[5] named after their Olympic medal-winning time. The brand won the Emerging Talent of the Year at the 2018 Belgian Fashion Awards.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Borlée's brothers, twins Jonathan and Kevin (b. 1988), and Dylan (b. 1992), are also athletes. Coached by their father, Jaqcues (b. 1957), the brothers were three of the four runners representing the 4th place Belgium team in the 2016 Olympic 4x400 metres relay final.


  1. ^ a b Athlete biography: Olivia Borlee Archived 2008-09-02 at the Wayback Machine, beijing2008.cn, ret: Aug 27, 2008
  2. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (2016-09-10). "Coe and Hansen hail belated Olympic gold for Belgian women's 4x100m team following Russian doping positive". www.insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  3. ^ "Rio 2016". Rio 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  4. ^ "The Flagbearers for the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony". 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  5. ^ a b "A Belgian Label Created by Olympians Will Turn Heads at the Gym and Beyond". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  6. ^ "Belgian Fashion Awards 2018: Voici nos lauréats!". Site-LeVifWeekend-FR (in French). 2018-10-11. Retrieved 2020-03-29.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Tia Hellebaut
Vlaams Sportjuweel
(as the "Women's 4x100 m team"
shared with
Kim Gevaert,
Hanna Mariën,
Élodie Ouédraogo)

Succeeded by
Kenny De Ketele
Iljo Keisse
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Tia Hellebaut
Flagbearer for   Belgium
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Succeeded by