Bobbie Rosenfeld

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Bobbie Rosenfeld
Ethel Smith Fanny Rosenfeld 1928 Olympics cropped.jpg
Fanny Rosenfeld at the 1928 Olympics
Personal information
Born December 28, 1904
Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
Died November 13, 1969 (aged 64)
Toronto, Canada
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 61 kg (134 lb)
Sport
Sport Athletics

Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld (December 28, 1904 — November 14, 1969) was a popular Canadian athlete in the 1920s. She competed in basketball, hockey, softball, speed skating, tennis, and track and field.[1] During her career, she won two Olympic medals in track and field. She was also the Canadian record holder for the standing board jump, running broad jump and discus[2] In 1949, Rosenfeld was one of the first people to be given a place in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. In 1950, she was named Canada’s woman athlete of the first half-century by the Canadian Press.[1]

Early years[change | change source]

Fanny Rosenfeld was born on December 28, 1903 in Dnepropetrovsk, Russia. After Fanny’s birth the Rosenfeld family moved to Barrie, Ontario.[2] Rosenfeld’s athletic ability was first noticed during a 100-metre dash that she ran for fun in a small track and field meet in 1923. She came first in the race, beating Rosa Grosse, the Canadian champion[3].

1928 Olympics[change | change source]

Rosenfeld competed in the Olympics in Amsterdam in 1928. This was the first time that women were allowed to participate in track and field events at the Olympics. She was a member of the Matchless Six, the Canadian women’s track and field team. This team placed first in the 400-metre relay, won the gold medal and became national heroes. Rosenfeld also won the silver medal in the 100-metre dash and placed fifth in the 800-metre race[2].

Retirement from sports[change | change source]

Soon after the Amsterdam Olympics, Rosenfeld found out she had arthritis (“Bobbie Rosenfeld”). This arthritis forced her to retire as an athlete in 1933 but she continued to be involved in sports as a coach and as a writer.[4] In 1934, she coached the women’s track and field team for Canada. They competed at the British Commonwealth Games in London, England.[3] From 1937 she started writing “Sports Reel”, a newspaper column in the Globe and Mail.[1] Through her writing, she continued to remind women that they were “people” and they could do anything they wanted, including sports[2].

Death and legacy[change | change source]

Rosenfeld died on November 13, 1969. She was 65 years old. Her contributions are remembered in a number of ways. The Bobbie Rosenfeld Trophy has given to a female athlete every year since 1978. In Israel, she was introduced into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1981. A park in downtown Toronto was named after her in 1991. In 1996, Canada Post honoured her with a stamp. The Jewish Women’s Archive in the United States named Rosenfeld a Woman of Valour for 2000.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 “Bobbie Rosenfeld: One of the Greatest All-Around Athletes.” CBC. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 “Celebrating Women’s Achievements: Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld.” Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 June 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 “Bobbie Rosenfeld.” Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 “Women of Valor – Bobbie Rosenfeld.” Jewish Women’s Archive. Retrieved 24 June 2014.