Tag Archives: 1972 Munich Olympics

Jew of the Week: Carlos Arthur Nuzman

2016 Olympic Games

Carlos Arthur Nuzman (Credit: Wilson Dias)

Carlos Arthur Nuzman (Credit: Wilson Dias)

Carlos Arthur Nuzman (b. 1942) was born in Rio de Janeiro, the grandson of Russian-Jewish immigrants to Brazil. His father was very active in the Jewish community, and served as the president of the Rio Jewish Federation. As a child, Nuzman started playing volleyball at the Brazilian Israelite Club. At 15, he began playing the sport professionally. A few years later, he made it to Brazil’s national team, and competed at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He also participated in four Maccabiah Games in Israel. Meanwhile, Nuzman studied in law school and became a successful lawyer in Brazil. In 1975, he became the president of the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation, a post he held for twenty years until he moved up to become the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee. Since 2012, he has been in charge of organizing the 2016 Olympic Games in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, which begin tomorrow. He has made sure that there is a large Jewish presence in these games, hiring two fellow Brazilian Jews as CEO and deputy CEO of the Committee, and ensuring there will be a ceremony to honour the Israeli terror victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics. Nuzman has also hired Israeli firm ISDS, who will be working with some 30 other Israeli companies to provide security and logistics for these Olympics. His nephew is a rabbi at one of Rio’s largest synagogues, which will be hosting a special Shabbaton for over 300 guests during the Olympic Games. In 2007, Nuzman was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame.

Words of the Week

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.
– Charles Darwin

Jew of the Week: Shaul Ladany

The Ultimate Survivor

Shaul Ladany

Shaul Ladany

Shaul Paul Ladany (b. 1936) was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. When he was 5, the Nazis bombed his hometown and his family fled to Hungary. A few years later, with nowhere else to turn, his parents hid him in a monastery. The plan failed and the whole family was caught and sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where they spent six months. Many of them died there, but Ladany and his parents were lucky to be saved by a group of American Jews who ransomed out 2000 prisoners. In 1948, the family made aliyah to Israel. There, Ladany earned a Master’s in Engineering from Technion. He later got a Ph.D from Columbia University. During his studies, Ladany trained himself to become a marathon runner, then switched to race-walking. He would go on to win 38 national titles globally, and set a new world record that stills stands to this day (50 miles in under 7 and a half hours). He participated in his second Olympic games in Munich in 1972, wanting to make a statement as a Holocaust survivor competing in Germany. The night after his race, Palestinian terrorists broke into the Israeli quarters. Ladany managed to escape by jumping out of his window, and rushed to notify the authorities of the attack. Sadly, 11 of the 16 Israelis were killed. Ladany went back to race-walking soon after, winning a gold medal at the World Championships the same year, then breaking more records, and becoming the first person to ever win both the American Open and American Masters championships. Despite his age, Ladany continues to compete, setting another record in 2006 as the first 70 year-old to walk 100 miles in under 24 hours. He recently swam across the Sea of Galilee, and did a 300 km walk across Europe. It is estimated that he has walked over half a million miles over his life. On top of this, Ladany was a professor of industrial engineering for over 30 years, publishing over 120 scholarly books and articles (in addition to an autobiography), and has lectured in universities around the world. He holds eight patents, speaks nine languages, and has been inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Unbelievably, he has also defeated both skin cancer and lymphoma – no wonder that he has been nicknamed “the Ultimate Survivor”. He still walks at least 15 kilometers every day.

Words of the Week

A person should have two pockets in his coat. One should contain the Talmudic saying: “For my sake was the world created.” In the second pocket he should keep the Torah verse: “I am but dust and ashes.”
– Rabbi Simchah Bunim of Peshischa