Meretzky was a member of Canada's basketball team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the first time basketball was an official medal sport. The competition was held outdoors in a tennis stadium on courts of clay and sand. Canada played the United States in the final, but it rained before the game, causing the court to turn to mud. Most of the players had a difficult time dribbling during the game and the conditions kept the final score low, with the U.S. winning the game, 19-8. Meretzky and Canada were awarded the silver medal, the only time in Olympic history that Canada has won a medal in basketball.
The lone Jew on the Canadian Olympic team, Meretsky met a fellow Jewish traveller on his way to the Games. He later said, "While on the train heading from France to Germany, I met a Jewish salesman. I asked him, 'What was going on there?' He said he really didn't know, but things were quiet now. He warned me not to go out at night and not to go chasing German girls."
Nicknamed "Toots," Meretsky played on the 1936 Canadian National championship team, the Ford V-8's which defeated Toronto to represent Canada at the 1936 Olympics. As a member of the University of Windsor freshman team in 1933, he played for the Famous Fighting Freshmen, which had a record of 25-5. Meretsky later was an All-Star in the Michigan/Ontario College Conference and the Ontario Senior Men's Championship. In 1999, he was inducted into of the University of Windsor Alumni Sports Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Complete Book of the Olympics, by David Wallechinsky (New York: Viking, 1988)