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    Shaul Ladany

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    April 2, 1936 —

    "I actually went into the gas chamber, but was reprieved. G-d knows why." — Shaul Ladany

    Shaul Ladany spent his childhood in a concentration camp. He was one of few Yugoslavian Jews to survive the war.

    Ladany's family immigrated to Israel when it became a state. There, he became a marathon runner and later switched to race walking. (This is normally where we would make fun of race walking, but this is not one of those profiles.)

    Ladany's biggest athletic triumph came at the 1972 World Championship, when he became one of the first Israelis to win a gold medal in any event by finishing first in the 100 km walk. (100 kilometers! In nine and a half hours! Perhaps we shouldn't make fun of race walking.)

    Ladany also participated in the Olympics, in 1968 and 1972. He was lucky to survive the latter one.

    In Munich, as terrorists began their assault on Israelis, Ladany jumped from the window, escaped, and warned others. He was one of the few Israeli athletes to survive the massacre. Without his warning, more might have perished.

    We can't read G-d's mind, but maybe that was the reason...

    Verdict: Jew.

    October 17, 2016

    See Also

    Matthew Centrowitz

    Sebastian Coe

    Jemima Montag

    Irena Szewinska

    Zohar Zemiro
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