Lapinsky competed in two Olympiads as a member of the Soviet Union men's volleyball team, helping them win two medals. At the 1968 Mexico City Games, the Soviets lost their first match to the United States (3-2), but then won their next seven games against Brazil (3-1), Bulgaria (3-0), Poland (3-0), Japan (3-1), Mexico (3-1), Belgium (3-0), and Czechoslovakia (3-2). With a record of 7-1 in the preliminary tournament, the Soviets then played Czechoslovakia again in the final game and won, 3-0, to capture the gold medal. One of his teammates in Mexico City was Gregory Mondzolesky.
Four years later at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Lapinsky returned as a member of the Soviet team. The Soviets again dominated their opponents in the preliminary round, defeating Tunisia (3-0), Columbia (3-0), Hungary (3-1), Czechoslovakia (3-0), and Poland (3-2). In the semifinals, however, the Soviets were upset by the East German team, 3-1, but defeated Bulgaria (3-0), to take the bronze medal. One of Lapinsky's teammates in Munich was outside hitter Efim Chulak.
A member of the Soviet Union's National volleyball team in the 1960s and early 1970s, Lapinsky won gold medals at the European Championships in 1967 and 1971.
Birth and Death Dates:
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
The Jewish Almanac, edited by Richard Siegel and Carl Rheins (New York: Bantam Books, 1980)
New York Times, October 14-October 28, 1968
New York Times, August 28-September 10, 1972