The son of the great Fred Oberlander, Phil wrestled as a welterweight at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics after traveling with the Canadian team as an alternate to the 1960 Rome Games. In Tokyo, Oberlander pinned his first round Norwegian opponent in 1:46, and eventually reached the quarterfinals. In that round, he lost to eventual silver medalist Guliko Sagaradze of the Soviet Union; Oberlander officially finished tied for sixth place
After growing up watching his father compete as one of the top wrestlers in the world, Oberlander achieved his own success in the 1960s. Ranked in the top ten in his weight class, Phil traveled with the Canadian Olympic team to Rome, but did not compete in the Games. Two years later, Oberlander won the silver medal in the welterweight class at the 1962 Commonwealth Games. He was also the gold medalist in the middleweight class of Greco-Roman at the 1961 Maccabiah Games.
Although he enjoyed the competition, Phil said it was daily training that was the true rush. He explained, "When I think of the experiences I had, my memories come from my training -- my jogging on the street, people stopping the car and laughing at me, telling me how cold it was outside...For me, thatís what really mattered...In wrestling, I achieved my goals bit by bit, and I saw that thereís really no task you canít take on in that way."
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)
The Complete Book of the Olympics, by David Wallechinsky (New York: Viking, 1988)
New York Times, October 11-October 25, 1964