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    Rena Kanokogi

    Jew Score:



    July 30, 1935 – November 21, 2009

    Throughout history, women have disguised themselves as men to compete in combat. Be it Mulan (What? She probably wasn't real?), Joan of Arc, the pirate Anne Bonny, or the protagonist of "Just One of the Guys" (What? She wasn't real either?), women donned a disguise to be able to compete on the same playing field as men.

    Add Rena Kanokogi to the list. Born with the more Jewy name of Rena Glickman, she really, really wanted to compete in judo. Alas, this was the 1950s, and women weren't exactly welcome in combat sport. So Rena taped down her breasts, cut her hair short, and helped her team to victory. Unfortunately, her ruse was quickly discovered, and she got stripped of the medal.

    Ever determined, Rena went on a quest to expand judo to women. She helped organized the first women's world judo championship in 1980. In 1988, it was added to the Olympics, with Rena the driving force behind the inclusion. By then, she was too old to compete, but did coach the American team.

    Since then, numerous Jewish women have won Olympic judo medals, including Israel's first ever medalist in any sport, Yael Arad. And they don't even need to disguise themselves as men!

    Verdict: Jew.

    May 6, 2024

    See Also

    Yael Arad

    Yarden Gerbi

    Joyce Hyser

    Felipe Kitadai

    Imi Lichtenfeld
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