Olga Fikotova Connolly, the Olympian in a Cold War romance, dies at 91

Olga, together with her husband, also enjoyed a certain celebrity. She was the mystery guest on an episode of the television program “To Tell the Truth” in 1958, and the pair appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” warmly introduced by Mr. Sullivan and sung by Louis Armstrong.

In 1968 she wrote a book, “Rings of Destiny,” about her love affair with Connolly. And in 1997, when the United States issued a series of stamps honoring women who had shaped American history, her image was chosen for a 10-cent stamp.

The marriage, however, did not last. Separating after 16 years, the Connollys divorced in 1974. Olga never remarried, but in 1975 Harold married Pat Daniels-Winslow, an athletics coach and former Olympic 800-meter runner and pentathlete. Their son, Adam, became a nationally ranked hammer thrower. Harold Connolly died in 2010 at the age of 79.

Olga Fikotova was born on November 13, 1932 in Prague. Her father, Franticek Fikota, was a legionary in the Czech army who became the personal guard of Tomas Masaryk (1850-1937), the first president of Czechoslovakia. As a girl, when she visited her father at work, Olga was told to stand when President Masaryk rode by on horseback.

After World War II the family moved to the Czech village of Libis. Olga’s mother, Ludmila (Uhrova) Fikotova, helped support the family by working as a worker at a chemical plant.