Vitebskiy was a member of the Soviet Union's fencing team at the 1968 Mexico City Games. In the epee competition, Yosef and the Soviet Union defeated Poland (13-2), the United States (10-5), and West Germany (9-3) to reach the final; in the final, they lost to Hungary, 7-4, to win the silver medal. One of Vitebskiy's teammates was International Jewish Sports Hall of Famer Grigori Kriss.
A member of both the Soviet Union and Ukraine National teams, Vitebskiy was a 19-time national championship medalist (10 gold, 6 silver, and 3 bronze), and helped lead the USSR to three consecutive World Championships (1967-1969). After his competitive career ended, Vitebskiy coached at the University of Ukraine and was the head coach of the Ukraine Republic National team for 13 years.
In 1998, Vitebskiy went to the United States and became an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania; he immediately helped lead the Quakers to their first Ivy League title since 1983. He is currently an assistant coach at Penn and competed at the Veteran 60 Men's Epee National Championships in 1999, winning the gold medal.
Birth and Death Dates:
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
New York Times, October 14-October 28, 1968