Jumping for the Jewish State

The Fellowship  |  June 21, 2019

Israeli long jumper David Kushnir

David Kushnir

Born: June 21, 1931 in Afula

About him: Born in the city of Afula in what was then British-mandate Palestine, David Kushnir was raised in a Jewish family in the Holy Land.

Standing only 5’8″, Kushnir first gained athletic fame by winning the gold medal in the long jump at the 1953 Maccabiah Games.

Three years later, he would represent Israel at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, competing in the long jump there. A year later, Kushnir again won the gold medal in the 1957 Maccabiah Games.

Kushnir’s second Olympics would be in 1960 in Rome, where he again jumped for the Jewish state. He would go on to win the Israeli Championship in the event in 1960, 1961, 1963, and 1964. And then, at the age of 47, Kushnir won the gold medal in the long jump at the World Veteran Games of 1978.

Besides his athletic accomplishments in the long jump, Kushnir also played soccer in the highest division for Hapoel Balfouria in the 1950s. And after his Olympic career was over, Kushnir took over as the coach of Israel’s national track and field team from 1970-1982, training future generations of Israelis to follow in his footsteps.