Matal, Tamar : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Matal, Tamar

track and field

Country Represented:

Years Competed:

Olympic Info:
Matal was the Israeli flag-bearer at the 1952 Helsinki Games, the first time Israeli participated in the Olympics. Matal captained the Israeli track and field team, competing in the women's long jump. She had a best distance of 5.16-meters (16'11") in the preliminaries, but did not qualify for the finals (missing qualification by 0.16-meters). She also jumped 1.45-meters (4'8") in the women's high jump, but again did not qualify for the finals.

Career Highlights:
In 1935, when she was only two years old, Tamar and her family emigrated to what was then called Palestine. Ten years later, she was competing with "Maccabi Union Tel Aviv" and showing remarkable athletic ability. In 1950, Tamar was also playing basketball and was named captain of the Israeli National basketball team, as well as competing in the high jump and long jump.

After marrying "Shumi" Shumacher, who organized the third through seventh Maccabiah Games, Tamar continued to be active in the Israeli sports world, carrying the message of athletics throughout the country. In 1973, she was chosen as Torch bearer at the Maccabiah Games, but recited the Vow of the Maccabiah Games instead because she was pregnant.

Three years later, in 1976, she was chosen by the International Olympic Committee to travel to Greece and participate in the lighting of the Olympic Torch which would be carried to Montreal, where the Games were being held. After her competitive career ended, Tamar coached women's basketball and continued to promote sports in Israel.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. 1933


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New York Times, July 21-August 2, 1952