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Louis Rubenstein

Louis Rubenstein
Rubinstein in 1893.
Personal information
Full name Louis Rubenstein
Country represented Canada
Born (1861-09-23)September 23, 1861
Died January 3, 1931(1931-01-03) (aged 69)
Home town Montreal, Canada
Former coach Jackson Haines
Template:Infobox medal templates

Louis Rubenstein (September 23, 1861, in Montreal, Canada – January 3, 1931) was a Canadian figure skater, sportsman and politician. Rubenstein is considered the "Father of Canadian Figure Skating."[1][2] After retirement from skating in 1892, Rubenstein became involved in the sports of bowling, curling, and cycling. He was elected president of the Canadian Bowling Association in 1895, president of the International Skating Union of America in 1909. He was alderman in St. Louis ward in Montreal from 1916 until 1931.


Rubenstein was born and raised in Montreal. His parents were Polish Jews who had fled Russian rule. He was coached by Jackson Haines.[3]

Rubenstein was chosen to represent Canada in an unofficial international championships that were one of the precursors of the World Figure Skating Championships, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Although being subject of a great deal of antisemitism there, he won the gold medal He became the first Canadian to win international honours in the sport.

Rubenstein was chosen to represent Canada announced in 1889 that it would host the in the following year. Not surprisingly, and a special fund was set up by the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association to pay for his two-and-a-half month trip.[4]

Rubenstein was the force behind the establishment and organization of the Amateur Skating Association of Canada, now known as Skate Canada.[5] He was the first president of the organization[6] and served until his death.[2]

He was President of the International Skating Union of America 1907–09, President of the Canadian Wheelmen's Association] for 18 years, and President of the Montréal Amateur Athletic Association 1913–15. Rubenstein also had a hand in the organization of the National Amateur Skating Association of the United States; a forerunner to the United States Figure Skating Association.

The Montreal Star wrote in 1895 of his presidency of the Canadian Bowling Association, and called him the "Father of Bowling in Canada." A tremendous bowler, he averaged 173.4 in 129 games between 1892–1900.

After retiring from active skating, Rubenstein also held the presidency of various Canadian organizations representing curling, bicycling, tobogganing, and lifesaving.

Rubenstein was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1981[7] and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1984.[8]

There is a memorial water fountain dedicated to Rubenstein in Montreal at Fletcher's Field at the corner of Park Avenue and Mount Royal Avenues.

He was also politically active; he was an alderman for 17 years.

See also



External links

  • Jewish Sports bio
  • Canadian Encyclopedia bio
  • Jews in Sports bio
  • "Louis Rubenstein's story recounted on film," The Canadian Jewish News, 6/3/04
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