Jews In Sports: Exhibit Page @ Virtual Museum


Harold U. Ribalow and Meir Z. Ribalow
Page 369 of 457

Jews In American Sports

Sylvia Wene was the "Woman Bowler of the Year" in 1955 and 1960.

Ice-skating is, of course, a seasonal sport, and one does not belittle it in saying that it is truly a "minor" sport. Nevertheless, Irving Jaffee, who was an Olympic winner and made a professional living out of his skating magic, attained major prominence, for a while, on the American sporting scene. His story, told within these pages, is exciting and inspirational.

Professional wrestling has never been taken seriously as a sport in the United States. In the 1920's and 1930's, when Jim Londos cavorted on the mat, it was a popular "exhibition." Amateur wrestling, on the other hand, is a skill and an art. It is not flamboyant, but it is a tough sport which makes enormous demands on the body. Henry Wittenberg was the best of them all and deserves special attention in this book. There have been other wrestlers, but none as overwhelming or as impressive as the former New York City policeman who demonstrated awesome strength and skill as a wrestler.

The history of track and field has been replete with Jewish names. Harold Abrahams, a British Jew, won a gold medal for Great Britain in the Olympic Games of 1924 in the 100-meter race. Lillian Copeland four years later won a silver medal for the United States for throwing the discus and in 1932 she won the gold medal in the same event. As long ago as the 1906 Olympics, Hugo Friend brought home to the United States a bronze medal for the long jump and Gary Gubner, who attended New York University, was a remarkably successful shotputter and discus thrower. He represented the U.S. in many international meets and, while he won many impressive