Vivian, and her older brother Ronald Joseph, competed in the pairs figure skating event at the 1964 Winter Games. They finished in fourth place, but in 1966, the silver medal-winning German team of Hans-Jurgen Baumler and Marika Kilius were stripped of their medals after they were alleged to have signed a professional contract prior to the 1964 Olympics. The Josephs were then moved to third place and awarded bronze medals. In 1987, however, the German duo was officially reinstated by the IOC and the original results were restored; the Josephs, who had held the bronze for over 20 years, were moved back to fourth place and the USOC does not officially recognize them as medalists.
Vivian and Ronald began skating together as children, competing for the Broadmoor Skating Club of Colorado. In 1957, they competed in their first important meet, the Midwest Skating Championship, and finished in second place. Following the tragic plane crash in 1961 that claimed the lives of the entire U.S. World Figure Skating Team, the Josephs were thrust into the spotlight and expected to carry American hopes in the early 1960s.
As 1961 U.S. Junior National Champions, they fulfilled these expectations, finishing in the top three in the U.S. Championships from 1962-1965 (third in 1962, second in 1963 and 1964, and capturing the gold in 1965). They also won the North American Championships in 1965. Ronald and Vivian were also impressive at three World Championships, finishing third in 1963, fourth in 1964, and second in 1965.
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)