Tamara Press

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Tamara Press
Tamara Press 1964.jpg
Tamara Press at the 1964 Olympics
Personal information
Born 10 May 1937 (1937-05-10) (age 78)
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 102 kg (225 lb)
Sport
Sport Shot put, discus throw
Club Trud Leningrad

Tamara Natanovna Press[nb 1] (born 10 May 1937) is a retired Soviet athlete who dominated the shot put and discus throw in the early 1960s. She won three gold and one silver medals at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics and three European titles in 1958–1962. Between 1959 and 1965 she set 11 world records: five in the shot put and six in the discus. Domestically, she held 16 national titles, nine in the shot put (1958–66) and seven in the discus (1960–66).[1]

Her younger sister Irina Press was also a prominent track athlete, but mostly in the sprint events.[2]

Career[edit]

Press was born to Jewish parents in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Her father died fighting in World War II in 1942, while her mother took the daughters to Samarkand, where they started training in athletics.[3][4] In 1955 Press moved to Saint Petersburg to train under the renowned coach Viktor Alekseyev. Next year she was shortlisted for the Olympic team, but lost due to a strong domestic competition in the throwing events.[5]

Retirement and gender rumors[edit]

Both sisters were accused of being men or hermaphrodites, and therefore sometimes called the "Press Brothers".[3][6][7] They retired in 1966, before gender verification became mandatory. In retirement Press worked as an athletics coach and official in Moscow.[2] She also wrote several books on sport, social and economical subjects. In 1974 she defended a PhD in pedagogy.[1] She was awarded the Order of Lenin (1960), Order of the Badge of Honour (1964) and Order of Friendship (1997).[8][5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Russian: Тамара Натановна Пресс, Ukrainian: Тамара Натанівна Пресс, Tamara Natanivna Press

References[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Soviet Union Nina Dumbadze
Women's Discus World Record Holder
12 September 1960 – 5 November 1967
Succeeded by
West Germany Liesel Westermann