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Athletes

Laura Spector's Olympic debut

Two years ago we cheered on swimmer Dara Torres, fencer Sada Jacobson, marathoner Deena Kastor, and pole Vaulter Jillian Schwartz at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. This year, only one Jewish American woman is competing in the Vancouver Olympic games, and in one of the more interesting events. Laura Spector made her Olympic debut in Vancouver, competing in the women's biathlon, a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. 

The decade's best Jewish athlete?

Last week the Jewish Chronicle asked us to nominate the most important Jewish person in sports over the last decade.  They suggested Israeli footballer Yossi Benayoun, European judo champion Arik Ze’evi, tennis star Andy Ram, and American swimmer Jason Lezak.  Tablet magazine picked up on the story, and added Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis to the list. Excuse me, but where are the Jewish women athletes? Have they been invisible for the past ten years?  Considering the Associated Press' recent nomination of two horses for "Female Athlete of the Year," maybe so.

Women’s basketball pioneer Nancy Lieberman becomes the first woman to coach a NBA D-League men’s basketball team

November 4, 2009

Nancy Lieberman, the first woman to play professional basketball in a men’s league, becomes the first woman to coach a professional men’s basketball team.

Bobbie Rosenfeld

During the workday, Canadian Olympic medalist Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld was a stenographer in a Toronto chocolate factory. It was only on evenings and weekends that she had time to resume her role as the "world's best girl athlete." On any given day she could be seen winning softball games before crowds of thousands, breaking national and international track records or leading an ice hockey or basketball team to a league championship.

Swimmer Dara Torres qualifies for fourth Olympics

August 10, 2000

At the U.S. Olympic trials, swimmer Dara Torres qualified to compete in her fourth Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Eight years later, Torres made history again by competing in her fifth Olympics in Beijing.

Lillian Copeland wins Olympic gold

August 2, 1932

Lillian Copeland won an Olympic gold medal in discus. At the previous Olympics, in 1928, she had won the silver in the same event. Her 1932 toss set a new world record.

Bobbie Rosenfeld goes for the gold

July 31, 1928

Canadian Bobbie Rosenfeld won an Olympic silver medal in the 100-meter race. The 1928 Olympics, held in Amsterdam, were the first in which women were allowed to compete in track & field events.

Gladys Heldman launches "World Tennis Magazine"

May 13, 1953

Tennis player, promoter, and women's advocate Gladys Heldman published the inaugural issue of "World Tennis Magazine." a forum calling for equal status and opportunity for women athletes.

Sports in the United States

The ways in which females participated in sporting life within both the immigrant and the wider culture reveal how women’s sports activities at times promoted assimilation yet also generated discord within the generational, gender, class and ethnic context of their lives in the United States.

Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld

Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld was named Canada’s woman athlete of the first half- century in 1950. She was a consummate all-round athlete, coach, sports administrator, official, and journalist.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Athletes." (Viewed on December 11, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/athletes>.

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