Rubenstein, Louis : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Rubenstein, Louis

figure skating

Country Represented:

Years Competed:

Olympic Info:

Career Highlights:
A member of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Rubenstein is considered the "Father of Canadian Figure Skating." The first internationally renowned North American figure skater, Louis won the Canadian championship from 1883-1889, the U.S. championship in 1888, 1889, and 1891, and the North American crown in 1885. In 1890, Louis won the World Figure Skating Championship in St. Petersburg, becoming the first Canadian to win international honors in the sport. Anti-Semitic organizers of the unofficial competition (there was no Skating Federation at the time), unsuccessfully tried to prevent Rubenstein from competing, and later tried to deny his victory.

During his competitive career, Rubenstein was one of the first people to understand the need for organization of the sport in Canada. Rubenstein was the force behind the establishment and organization of the Amateur Skating Association of Canada. He was the first president of the organization and remained so until his death in 1931. The entity is now known as the Canadian Figure Skating Association. Rubenstein also had a hand in the organization of the National Amateur Skating Association of the United States and the International Skating Union of America; both were forerunners to the United States Figure Skating Association.

Louis was also involved in countless other sports and at one point or another, was president of tobagganing, bicycling, and curling. A tremendous bowler, he averaged 173.4 in 129 games between 1892-1900. The Montreal Star wrote in 1895 of his presidency of the Canadian Bowling Association and called him the "Father of Bowling in Canada." A celebrity in his hometown of Montreal, Louis was also politically active; he was an alderman for 17 years. There is a permanent memorial to Rubenstein in Montreal at Fletchers Field at the corner of Parc and Mount Royal Avenues. In 1984, Rubenstein was inducted into the World Skating Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Sept. 23, 1861 - d. Jan. 2, 1931

Montreal, Canada

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Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)