If you don’t know who Margaret Bergmann Lambert is, you will now. She was an incredibly talented Olympic athlete who died this week at the age of 103 at her home in Queens, leaving behind a truly incredible legacy.
Lambert, who was a German-Jewish high jumper, was barred from the 1936 Berlin Olympics because she was Jewish. Lambert was such a dedicated and talented athlete (she swam, skated, played tennis and skied) that she said she felt “possessed” by sports.
During the Berlin Games, she was quoted as saying she wanted to compete, because she wanted to “embarrass” Hitler. “I wanted to compete just to embarrass Adolf Hitler, just to show what a Jewish girl can do,” she said. “This was to be my revenge. I know I would have won the gold. The madder I got, the better I did.”
Lambert left Nazi Germany in 1937 for the U.S., which is when she changed her name from Gretel to Margaret, as a way to assimilate. Eventually, she married Bruno Lambert, a German-Jewish athlete and refugee like her. They had two children together.
Learn more about her by watching our video below: