A member of the Soviet Union's volleyball team in the 1960s, Mondzolevsky competed in two Olympiads and won two gold medals. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Soviets easily won their first three matches (they did not lose a set) against Romania, Korea, and Hungary. After beating Czechoslovakia 3-2, the Soviets suffered their only defeat of the tournament, a 1-3 loss against Japan. The Soviets did not lose another set for the rest of the tournament and were awarded the gold medal over the Japanese because they had lost fewer total sets during the tournament (5 to 10).
Mondzolevsky returned to the Olympics 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 Yevgeny Lapinsky. Mondzolevsky is the oldest player in Olympic history to win a gold medal in volleyball (at 34 years and 274 days).
Mondzolevsky was a member of the Soviet Union National teams in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and won gold medals at the 1967 and 1971 European Championships.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Jan. 26, 1934
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 12-October 28, 1968