Schenker, Zoltan : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Schenker, Zoltan

Zoltan Ozoray Schenker


Country Represented:

Years Competed:
1912, 1924, 1928

Medals Received:
gold, silver, bronze

Olympic Info:
In the 1910s and 1920s, Schenker was one of Hungary's top fencers when the country was known as the best fencing nation in the world. He appeard in three Olympiads, winning three medals during his Olympic career. Zoltan first competed at the 1912 Stockholm Games and took the gold medal in the team sabre event. In the individual sabre, he reached the finals and finished in fourth place after winning four of seven matches. Schenker also participated in the individual foil competition, and won both his first- and second-round pools, but was eliminated in the semifinals.

Schenker returned to the Olympics at the 1924 Paris Games and fenced in four events, winning two medals in team competitions. In the team foil, the Hungarian team easily advanced to the final round, but only captured the bronze medal after winning one of three matches. In the team sabre, Schenker and Hungary won the silver medal after beating Holland and Czechoslovakia in the finals (they lost to Italy for the gold). In the individual foil, Schenker was eliminated in his first-round pool after winning only once in four bouts. In the individual sabre, his stronger weapon, Schenker advanced to the finals and finished fourth overall. In the final pool, he won four of seven matches, but lost to bronze medalist (and fellow Hungarian) Janos Garay.

Schenker's final Olympiad was the Amsterdam Games in 1928. Competing only in the individual foil, Schenker advanced to the semifinals, where he was eliminated. In his semifinal pool, he was victorious in only one of six matches and finished in sixth place.

Career Highlights:
Schenker, an outstanding sabre specialist, was also a well-known author on fencing. He wrote: "...a fencer must catch the moment when his opponent it totally or partially incapable of an action...such favorable moments occur when the opponent executes badly thought out purposeless blade movements or footwork, when his attention is distracted and his readiness for action is diminished. Such moments occur also when the opponent is, for example, preoccupied with planning the bout or is distressed by its unsuccessful course."

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Oct. 13, 1880 - d. 1966


Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Jewish Almanac, edited by Richard Siegel and Carl Rheins (New York: Bantam Books, 1980)
The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000, (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999)