Track & Field: Preserving la Difference


The incidents—and what to do about them—had been bothering the International Amateur Athletic Federation for years.

First there was the case of Czechoslovakia's Zdenka Koubkowa, who set a world record for the women's 800-meter run in London in 1934; later it was casually announced that thanks to a triumph of medical science, Miss Koubkowa thenceforth was properly to be addressed as Mister. Then there was Dora Ratjen, the dark-haired German lass who set a new ladies' mark for the high jump in 1938. Nineteen years later, Dora turned up as Hermann, a waiter in Bremen, who tearfully confessed...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!