Marilyn Ramenofsky

Marilyn Ramenofsky (born August 20, 1946) is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder.[2] She is currently a researcher at the University of California at Davis, studying the physiology and behavior of bird migration. She has previously done research at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Marilyn Ramenofsky
Ramenofsky in 1964
Personal information
Full nameMarilyn Ramenofsky
National teamUnited States
Born (1946-08-20) August 20, 1946
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.[1]
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight134 lb (61 kg)

Swimming career

Ramenofsky was named to the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) All-America women's swimming teams in 1962, 1963 and 1964.[2] International Swimming Hall of Fame national director Buck Dawson wrote: "[Ramenofsky] was the first female to swim a perfect freestyle stroke."[3] She attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, and trained with the Pomona College men's swim team because the college had no women's team.

Ramenofsky set new world-record times for the 400-meter freestyle three times in 1964, including once at the U.S. Olympic Trials, reducing the record to 4:39.5.[2][4] She also set a new U.S. record in the 220-yard freestyle in 1964, at 2:17.3.[2]

At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, she represented the United States. She received a silver medal for her second-place performance in the women's 400-meter freestyle, breaking the existing Olympic record with a time of 4:47.7, but finishing behind American teammate Ginny Duenkel.[2][5][6]

At the 1961 Maccabiah Games she won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay and a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle. At the 1965 Maccabiah Games she won gold medals in both the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyles.[2]

Life after swimming

Ramenofsky, who is Jewish, was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.[2][5][6][7][8]

Ramenofsky has published numerous peer reviewed articles on the physiology and behavior of migratory birds, most notably the white-crowned sparrow.[9][10] Much of her research has focused on how glucocorticoids may orchestrate the suite of life history changes associated with bird migration. She now works at UC Davis studying the migration of birds, and changes in their muscle physiology during stages of migration.

See also


  1. Marilyn Ramenofsky.
  2. Joseph Siegman. Jewish sports legends: the International Jewish Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  3. Peter S. Horvitz. The Big Book of Jewish Sports Heroes; An Illustrated Compendium of Sports History and The 150 Greatest Jewish Sports Stars. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  4. Paul Taylor. Jews and the Olympic Games: the clash between sport and politics : with a complete review of Jewish Olympic medallists. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  5. David J. Goldman. Jewish Sports Stars: Athletic Heroes Past and Present. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  6. Barry Cohen (January 5, 2001). "AJHS honors state's Jewish athletes". Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  7. Bob Wechsler. Day by day in Jewish sports history. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  8. "Jewish Athletes Honored in Hall of Fame". (March 2, 1988). Retrieved on 2017-09-29.
  9. "For Migrating Sparrows, Kids Have A Compass, But Adults Have The Map". ScienceDaily. November 10, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2011. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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