A member of the United States women's swimming team at the 1964 Tokyo Games, Ramenofsky competed in the 400-meter freestyle. She won her preliminary heat in a time of 4:47.7, breaking, the Olympic record. In the final, she lowered her time to 4:44.6, but finished in second place (1.3 seconds behind Virginia Duenkel of the U.S.), and won the silver medal.
In 1961, Ramenofsky competed internationally for the first time at the Maccabiah Games, winning a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay and a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle. The Arizona native said "Phoenix was a small, wonderful community...And the Jewish community came out of the woodwork (to support me)." During the Games, she lived on a Kibbutz and traveled throughout the country and enjoyed the fact that: "the athletes all had a connection."
In 1963, she had her break-out year and finished with the world's best 400-meter freestyle time that year (4:45.0). In 1964, Ramenofsky set the world record in the 400-meter freestyle three times in the span of 50 days, lowering it to 4:39.5 on August 31. She had broken her own record on August 1 to win the National AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) outdoor championship (4:41.7). That same year, she set the American record in the 220-meter freestyle (2:17.3), and had the world's sixth best 100-meter time (61.0). In 1965, she won gold medals in the 220-meter and 400-meter freestyle races at the Maccabiah Games.
Ramenofsky was named to the 1962, 1963, 1964 All-American Women's AAU Swimming teams, and in 1988, she was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Sports Illustrated ranked her 12th among Arizona's 50 Greatest Sports Figures of the 20th Century. Ramenofsky is currently a researcher at the University of Washington, specializing in environmental endocrinology.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Aug. 20, 1946
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)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
The Olympic Games: Athens 1896-Sydney 2000, (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1999)
New York Times, October 11-October 25, 1964