Athletes elected to International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
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Athletes elected to International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

Three Americans honored are Anthony Ervin, Thelma ‘Tybie’ Thall-Sommers, and Albert Von Tilzer

Anthony Ervin of the USA reacts after winning the Men's 50m Freestyle Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Anthony Ervin of the USA reacts after winning the Men's 50m Freestyle Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — Two American athletes and one New York songwriter have been elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Other newly elected members come from Canada, Hungary, Israel, New Zealand and Russia.

The three Americans are Anthony Ervin, Thelma “Tybie” Thall-Sommers and Albert Von Tilzer.

Ervin, a native Californian now living in Florida, captured a pair of gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio in two swimming events: the 50-meter freestyle and the 4×100- meter relay. The victories were a near repeat of his gold and silver medals in the same events at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.

Albert Von Tilzer (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Albert Von Tilzer (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Thall-Sommers garnered two-time world championships in table tennis. One was the world mixed doubles title in 1948, and the other as member of the US team that won the trophy in 1949.

Arguably, the American with the longest impact on spectator sports was the late Von Tilzer, who wrote the immortal baseball anthem “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” in 1908.

Also elected were:

The late National Hockey League star Hyman (Hy) Buller of Canada, who played for the New York Rangers. He set a rookie record in 1951-1952 for scoring the most goals, and ranked second for most goals among all NHL defensemen in three consecutive seasons.

Joszef Braun joined the MTK Budapest soccer club in 1916 at age 15 and three years later was named Hungary’s “Player of the Year.” His team won nine national championships through 1924. Braun died in a Nazi forced labor camp in 1943.

Israel’s Lee Korzits is a four-time world sailing champion, winning her first Mistral-class title in 2003. After a long layoff due to injuries, the Hadera native won world gold medals in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Lee Korzits won the 2012 world championship (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Lee Korzits/Wikipedia)
Lee Korzits won the 2012 world championship (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Lee Korzits/Wikipedia)

New Zealand sailing champion Joanna (Jo) Aleh became a “double-double” gold medalist (with Olivia Powrie) in the women’s 420 Class event at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and at the 2007 and 2013 world championships.

Swimmer Semyon Belits-Geiman, a Moscow native, broke 67 Soviet national freestyle records, set a world 800-meter freestyle record in 1966, and the same year won two gold medals at the European championships. In 1999, he and his wife moved to Stamford, Conn.

Election results were announced by International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame co-chairmen Alan Sherman of Potomac, Maryland, and R. Stephen Rubin of London.

Formal inductions are slated for July 4, 2017 at the Hall of Fame Museum, located on the Wingate Institute campus in Netanya, Israel.

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