November 19, 1977 —
As part of our epic quest for interesting Jews to profile, we found a list of Jewish Olympic medalists. And after skipping through Gaston Salmon (Belgium, fencing, 1912), Montgomery "Moe" Herscovitch (Canada, boxing, 1920), and Baron Umberto Luigi de Morpurgo (Italy, tennis, 1924), we got to...
Wait a minute. Baron Umberto Luigi de Morpurgo? A Jewish tennis champion, and a baron?! How the heck does that happen? Anyway, back to the profile.
We got to Kerri Strug — the little pixie from 1996 who won the hearts of a nation and a gold medal by landing her vault on a strained foot. It made Strug the All-American girl.
Make that the All-American Jewish girl. And what a Jew! Raised in a traditional Jewish household, Strug is now an active participant at her temple and in the Jewish community at large.
And we really had no idea. Sure, it's not as improbable as Baron de Morpurgo, but, seriously, who could have known?
February 1, 2008