Tamara Press
Tamara Natanovna Press (born 10 May 1937 in Kharkiv
Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in December 1917 and Soviet government was...

, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

) is a former Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 shot put
Shot put
The shot put is a track and field event involving "putting" a heavy metal ball—the shot—as far as possible. It is common to use the term "shot put" to refer to both the shot itself and to the putting action....

ter and discus throw
Discus throw
The discus throw is an event in track and field athletics competition, in which an athlete throws a heavy disc—called a discus—in an attempt to mark a farther distance than his or her competitors. It is an ancient sport, as evidenced by the 5th century BC Myron statue, Discobolus...

er in the 1960s.


Press is Jewish. She competed for VSS Trud. Together with her younger sister Irina Press
Irina Press
Irina Natanovna Press was a Ukrainian athlete.-Career:Press was Jewish. She won two Olympic gold medals for the USSR team, in 80 m hurdles and pentathlon...

, who was also a track
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

 athlete, she was half of the "Press Sisters", a duo who won almost everything that there was to win in track and field, except for distance running.

At the 1960 Summer Olympics
1960 Summer Olympics
The 1960 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held from August 25 to September 11, 1960 in Rome, Italy...

 in Rome, Italy, Tamara won the gold medal
Gold medal
A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

 in the shot put and the silver medal
Silver medal
A silver medal is a medal awarded to the second place finisher of contests such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and contests with similar formats....

 in the discus. At the 1964 Summer Olympics
1964 Summer Olympics
The 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Tokyo, Japan in 1964. Tokyo had been awarded with the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but this honor was subsequently passed to Helsinki because of Japan's...

 in Tokyo, Japan, she won the gold medal in both events. In the shot put and in the discus throw she set six world records.

Tamara was also successful in the European championships. In 1958 in Stockholm she was third in the shot put, and in 1962 in Belgrade she was the European champion in the shot put as well as the discus.

Questions regarding gender

It was said of both sisters that their gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

 could not be determined. Some even thought that they might be hermaphrodite
In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.Many taxonomic groups of animals do not have separate sexes. In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both...

s — still another opinion was that they were being injected with male hormones in order to make them stronger. Detractors called them the "Press Brothers". After gender verification for all international sporting female events was made mandatory in 1966 (curtailed in Sydney in 2000), both vanished from the sporting scene.

See also

  • List of select Jewish track and field athletes
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