So, there is a new fastest man in the world. His name is Usain Bolt, he is Jamaican, and no, he is not a Jew. However, hearing of the record, we asked ourselves the question... (everyone!)
Has the fastest man in the world ever been a Jew?
And... no. We checked everyone from Don Lippincott to Asafa Powell. Not a single Jew there. (Harold Abrahams, the gold medalist in 100 meters at the 1924 Olympics, never held the world record.) We were about to give up, until a new question arose... (everyone!)
Has the fastest WOMAN in the world ever been a Jew?
And here, we have an emphatic YES. Poland's Irena Szewinska, who ran for the record in 1965, actually set it under her maiden name, Irena Kirszenstein.
And is it turns out, Kirszenstein-Szewinska is one of the most accomplished track and field athletes in history. She's won seven Olympic medals, including three golds, and held or shared the fastest woman title for three years.
Now, the title of fastest man seems to change hands every year (whoosh! there it goes!). But the fastest woman's mark has stood since 1988, which sounds about 20 years too long to us. Time for a young Jewish girl to run in Irena's oh-so-fast footsteps.