By CHRIS LEHOURITES, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — The "Flying Housewife" has landed a subway stop in London after all.
Fanny Blankers-Koen, a Dutchwoman who was one of the biggest stars of the 1948 London Olympics, was originally left off a new map of the London Underground dedicated to past Olympians, prompting criticism from her homeland.
But on Wednesday, the track star known as the "Flying Housewife" was added to the list for future prints.
"We apologize if any offense has been caused by the omission of Fanny Blankers-Koen, who was clearly a remarkable athlete," Transport for London marketing director Chris Macleod said in a statement. "We are speaking to the publisher to ensure that she features in the next reprint of the map."
To make room for Blankers-Koen, who died in 2004, running rivals Zola Budd and Mary Decker will be put together into one station instead of holding separate stops, the TFL said.
The Olympic Legends Map, which is being sold as a poster by Transport for London, changed the names of 361 London subway and railway stations, honoring greats like Jesse Owens, Nadia Comaneci and Mark Spitz. It includes a variety of Olympians from various sports.
Blankers-Koen won gold in the 100 meters, 200, 80 hurdles and 4x100 relay at the London Games and was chosen "Female Athlete of the Century" by the IAAF in 1999. She was left off the first edition of the map, which prompted a formal complaint from the Dutch athletics federation. It wrote to London organizing committee leader Sebastian Coe to get Blankers-Koen added to the map.
"Fanny Blankers-Koen had to be included in this tribute, so it is a great gesture," Dutch Athletics Federation general secretary Rien van Haperen told The Associated Press. "It shows class they found a fitting solution. ... We understand it was a painful mistake."
The map was designed by Alex Trickett and David Brooks.
"We always intended to select the right people for this map, and we spent a lot of time trying to do that," Trickett told the AP. "The absence of Fanny Blankers-Koen was basically just a pure administrative error on our part.
"She had been on our short list — which wasn't so short, it was actually 500 or 600 athletes long — but she was on it and she was on it in red, which meant she was a must to be on the map."
Track stars make up a good part of the map, running from west to east and all around the center of the city. With Coe, Carl Lewis, Maria Mutola and Emil Zatopek, most of the all-time greats are represented. Swimmers, boxers and basketball stars also make up a large portion of the map.
The station closet to the Olympic Stadium, Stratford, is named "Michael Phelps" on the legends map.
Other Americans with subway stops include Cassius Clay, the original name of boxing great Muhammad Ali, Mia Hamm, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Sheryl Swoopes and Venus Williams.
There is even room for "renowned athletes famous for not winning a medal." Falling under that category are Decker and Budd, the runners who got tangled in the 3,000-meter final at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
But Roger Bannister, who became the first man to run the mile in under four minutes in 1954, didn't make the cut despite finishing fourth in the 1,500 two years earlier at the Helsinki Olympics.
"He is not on the map for a good reason," Trickett said. "He is undoubtedly a British icon, he is a sporting icon for Britain, but his reputation was made outside the Olympics. ... He was an Olympian, but he didn't excel there."
On the Internet: http://shop.tfl.gov.uk/design-collections/Underground-Olympic-Legends-Map.html
AP Sports Writer Raf Casert in Brussels contributed to this report.
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