Tamara Press

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Tamara Natanovna Press (; , Tamara Natanivna Press) (born 10 May 1937 in Kharkiv, Ukraine) is a former Soviet shot putter and discus thrower in the 1960s.


Press is Jewish. She competed for VSS Trud. Together with her younger sister Irina Press, who was also a track athlete, she was half of the "Press Sisters", a duo who won almost everything that there was to win in track and field, except for distance running.

At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy, Tamara won the gold medal in the shot put and the silver medal in the discus. At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, she won the gold medal in both events. In the shot put and in the discus throw she set six world records.

Tamara was also successful in the European championships. In 1958 in Stockholm she was third in the shot put, and in 1962 in Belgrade she was the European champion in the shot put as well as the discus.

Questions regarding gender

It was said of both sisters that their gender could not be determined. Some even thought that they might be hermaphrodites — still another opinion was that they were being injected with male hormones in order to make them stronger. Detractors called them the "Press Brothers". After gender verification for all international sporting female events was made mandatory in 1966 (curtailed in Sydney in 2000), both vanished from the sporting scene.

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