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Inspiring Figure: The Louis Rubenstein Story

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This is the little known but engaging story of Louis Rubenstein (1861-1931), the world's first figure skating champion and Canadian sports hero of the late 19th century. He was the quintessential amateur athlete who competed out of a true love of sport, and was the perfect gentleman both on and off ice.

Rubenstein is acknowledged to be the father of North American figure skating and was the founder and president of the International Skating Union of America and the Amateur Skating Association of Canada. He played similar organizational roles in the sports of bicycling, curling, bowling, swimming and boxing. He held the presidency of many other sports organizations, including the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, Canadian Royal Life-Saving Society, Canadian Wheelmen's Association, and Montreal Athletic Commission.

Beyond the world of sports, Rubenstein was a dedicated civic leader and philanthropist, with a special interest in underprivileged youth. He was a long-time alderman for the city of Montreal and for many years the president of the Montreal Young Men's Hebrew Association.

Inspiring Figure: The Louis Rubenstein Story is told by Dick Pound (member, International Olympic Committee and chancellor, McGill University), Barbara Ann Scott (Olympic gold medal skater, 1948), and Hillel Becker (principal, Rubenstein Bros., established 1864).

2004, 27 min 16 s