Lillian Copeland

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Lillian Copeland (November 25, 1904July 7, 1964) was an American athlete, who excelled in the throwing events.

Copeland was born in New York to Polish immigrants. Her father died when she was young, and her mother remarried and they moved to Los Angeles.

In athletics, she excelled in all throwing events, notably in the shot put. She won the AAU championships in that event 5 times (1924-1928, 1931). In addition, she won the AAU discus throw title in 1926 and 1927, and the javelin throw title in 1926 and 1931. In the latter event, she broke the world record three times in 1926 and 1927.

The 1928 Summer Olympics were the first Olympics to include women's track and field events. Copeland could only compete in the discus throw, because the shot put and javelin throw were not yet on the programme (they would follow in 1948 and 1932, respectively). In Amsterdam, she finished second to Poland's Halina Konopacka and took home the silver medal.

In 1931, Copeland attended the University of Southern California law school, and hence became less focused on sports. Nevertheless, she made the 1932 Olympic team for the discus throw. Competing in her home town, she moved into gold medal position with her last throw.

Shortly after the Games, she retired from sports. However, Copeland – who was Jewish – made a brief comeback to take part in the Maccabiah Games in 1935, where she won the titles in her three events. Afterwards, she worked at the sheriff's department of Los Angeles County. Template:Footer Olympic Champions Discus Throw Womende:Lillian Copeland

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