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Brutus81

Henry Wittenberg

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I came across this by accident while surfing the 'net. It's old news, but still a good read:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/sport ... nberg.html

 

I remember meeting Mr. Wittenberg in high-school. I was visiting a buddy and he had a beach house nearby. Somehow, he had persuaded all the young men in the neighborhood to lift weights on his deck and run miles on the beach. He must have been in 70's at that point. I didn't know who he was. But he still was pretty charismatic.

 

I also like the story about him, as a New York City Police Officer, single-handedly subduing a stick up artist armed, not only with a handgun, but an axe as well.

 

Seems to me we could use more like him.

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^^^Interesting mention of Wittenberg's coach at CCNY - Joe Sapora. Joe was the first Pennsylvania native to win the NCAA tournament, winning titles for the Univ of Illinois in 1929 and 1930. I think the Sapora Family moved early 1900's to Renovo (then a railroad town) in central PA from northeastern PA. Anyway, Joe was the first PA native to win the NCAA's.

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Sapora late 1950's at the Wilkes Open, when he was coaching CCNY. Coach Sapora was a very interesting personality.

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Wittenberg was the best American wrestler of the first half of the 20th century. He might have won three gold medals if there were Olympics in 1940 and 1944.

 

He was far ahead of his time in using weight training and wrote the book on Isometrics.

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I was delighted to read the article about Henry Wittenberg and the references to Joe Sapora. My dad, Clarence Shapiro, was Henry's teammate at City College and was coached by Joe Sapora. He loved them both and said that Coach Sapora was one of the great influences in his life. I am also extremely proud to say that Henry Wittenberg, Joe Sapora and my dad are the only wrestlers in the City College Hall of Fame. Thanks for bringing these two legendary wrestlers, and great men, to the attention of the wrestling community again.

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Wittenberg was the best American wrestler of the first half of the 20th century. He might have won three gold medals if there were Olympics in 1940 and 1944.

 

He was far ahead of his time in using weight training and wrote the book on Isometrics.

 

Ahmen.

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I knew Henry a bit as my parents had a beach house in the same town. Well into his 70s, he'd run the beach and swim distances in the waves.

 

Once I met one of his teammates who told me a story about Henry training by running in Van Cortland Park at the end of a long day. He was so tired that he cried as he ran. But he was also bored by running, that he'd sing. People from the neighborhood would come to the park to watch this massive man running and crying and singing.

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