Philadelphia, PA, July 1– Tonja Magerman, General Chair, 14th European Maccabi Games USA Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that family members of Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman will be joining the USA Delegation at the Games in Berlin later this month. Both Stoller and Glickman qualified for the USA 4 x100 meter relay team to compete at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, but were removed by the head of the U.S. Olympic Team, Avery Brundage, immediately prior to the race in order not to ‘upset Hitler’.
Brundage always denied that Stoller and Glickman were removed because of their religion, but rather maintained the change was made to put the fastest runners on the relay team. However, during the heats leading up to the race, Glickman had beaten both Frank Wykoff and Foy Draper and should never have been removed for the purpose of keeping the fastest sprinters on the team. This was a devastating blow for both Stoller and Glickman because it would turn out to be their only opportunity to race in the most elite contest of their lives, and they were denied this opportunity by the head of the U.S. Olympic Team to appease the anti-Semitism of the German regime.
“I am thrilled that the descendants of Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller will be part of the USA delegation in Berlin,” Magerman said. “It just increases the significance of everything we do, using sports to build Jewish pride and perpetuate Jewish continuity. The fact that these individuals, whose family members were denied the opportunity to compete at the 1936 Olympics because they were Jewish, are able to march into the Opening Ceremony and proclaim ‘We are still here!’ and that Hitler is gone, speaks volumes as to why we are involved with the Maccabi Movement”
Sam Stoller of Cincinnati, OH had the misfortune of attending high school at the same time as Jesse Owens. They raced for rival high schools and although Owens won most of those races, Stoller was able to beat him once. Although they were rivals, Owens cheered him on during the 1936 U.S. Olympic tryouts because he wanted him to make the team.
Sam’s second cousin, Steven Stoller, will represent the Stoller Family at the Games. Steven Stoller is an orthopedic surgeon who regularly works with elite athletes and has a unique understanding as to the grueling amount of training and dedication it takes for them to get to the top of their sport. He is very empathetic to the pain and disappointment that both Stoller and Glickman shared when the opportunity to compete at the pinnacle of their sport was abruptly taken away from them because of anti-Semitism.
“I am doing this because what happened was so significant,” Steven Stoller said. “I want to do this for my children and for the Stoller family. I think this is a great thing and I am honored to be involved.”
Marty Glickman was born in Brooklyn and was a track & field star and football standout in high school and at Syracuse University. His track & field career really took off in his freshman year at Syracuse and he qualified for the Olympic trials, and qualified to run in the 1936 Olympics. After the abrupt decision by Brundage to remove Glickman and Stoller from the competition, Glickman maintained from the beginning that the decision was solely based on their religion and Brundage’s relationship with Hitler.
Glickman’s youngest daughter Nancy and her daughter will also join the USA delegation and march into the Opening Ceremony. It will be very emotional for Nancy, similarly as it was for her father 79 years earlier. Nancy has shared that her father had returned to the 1936 Olympic Stadium in 1985 and had looked up at Hitler’s box and yelled to his ghost, ‘I am still here and you are not.’
“While the main reason for my attendance is to honor my father, it is not often that one gets to be a witness, let alone a participant, in the irony of change,” Nancy Glickman remarked. “I think my father would have added an addendum to his 1985 shout at Hitler’s box if he knew my daughter and I would be there, and it would be ‘and we will be here for generations to come.’”
For more information or to arrange for an interview, please contact Sara Feinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267.627.5654
About the organization:
Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs. The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, and the Pan American and European Maccabi Games, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America. As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.
MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities. It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings. MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport. Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.
Maccabi USA has been selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as a Multi-Sport Organization (MSO). The nonprofit organization becomes one of 35 MSOs nationwide to be recognized by the USOC for its ability to cultivate a national interest in sport and increase opportunities for participation internationally, nationally and at the grassroots level.