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During the “Roaring Twenties” era, Fanny “Bobbie” Rosenfeld was an exceptional athlete excelling in various sports. She was a role model for women all over the world as she was one of the first to compete in the Olympics. She helped pave the way for women’s sports and challenged social norms and assumptions about women’s athletic abilities. She should be remembered by future generations for her outstanding athletic performances and for defending and promoting women’s sports until the day she died.
Bobbie was born in Katrinosaov, Russia in 1904 which is currently Dinpro, Ukraine. She had an older brother named Maurice and three younger sisters named Gertrude, Mary, and Ethel. Her father Max had a used good business and her Mother Sarah stayed home. Her family was a common working/lower class family.
In 1905, they moved to Barrie where their extended family lived. Bobbie went to Barrie Collegiate Institute and played many sports including basketball, track, softball, hockey, lacrosse, and tennis. She got the nickname “Bobbie” in high school because of her short, bobbed hair.
When she was 18, her and family moved to Toronto and bought a single family house on Markham street. The house was in an area made up of mainly lower-middle class Jewish families. Bobbie apparently failed two courses purposely at Barrie Collegiate so that she could attend Harbour Collegiate Institute which had a better athletic program.
Since Bobbie was amazing at several sports, one way to sum up her career is to say that she wasn’t good at swimming. Her skill was noticed at a very young age. When she was 9, she won her first race which was a 50m dash at a picnic and she was rewarded with a free lunch. She played on the Toronto Young Women’s Christian Association hockey team and the Young Women’s Hebrew Association basketball team at the age of 18.
She was also the captain of the Patterson Hockey team which had a huge influence in women’s hockey in Ontario and played on the Hind and Dauche softball team.
She was also a member of the Toronto Ladies Athletic club and won a tennis championship for women. Her name was appearing regularly in the city’s newspaper by the mid 1920’s. She was hired as a stenographer at Patterson Chocolate factory after graduating from Harbord Collegiate in 1923.
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