No Finer Deed
Bobbie Rosenfeld, 1904 - 1969
Rosenfeld had never trained for the Olympic 800 meter event. She was entered into the race only to encourage teammate Jean Thompson. The youngest member of the "matchless six," seventeen-year-old Thompson had spent the week before the Games resting an injured leg, and team officials worried that this had lowered her morale.
Thompson started the race strong, but after being passed and jostled by a few of the runners she dropped from second to fourth place and was starting to falter. Rosenfeld, running in ninth, sprinted to draw even with her, and then coaxed Thompson the rest of the way to the finish line.
Many watching this performance realized that Rosenfeld could have continued her push forward and won another medal. Instead she, "stayed at Jean's shoulder to the finish and then let Jean finish fourth, taking fifth for herself." As the team manager Alexandrine Gibb remembered it, "Bobbie Rosenfeld's sportsmanship in this event was one of the high spots of the games....In the annals of women's athletics, there is no finer deed than this."
- Quotes are from Alexandrine Gibb, "Canada at the Olympics," MacLeans Magazine 1 October 1928.
- For more on the 800 meter race, see Ron Hotchkiss, "The Matchless Six," The Beaver Oct.-Nov. 1993, 33-4.