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Albie Axelrod – born athlete with inhuman reflexes
 
Albert Axelrod was born February 12, 1921, in New York, to the family of Russian Jewish immigrants who had fled the pogroms shortly before the Revolution, and grew up in the Bronx. 
 
A heart murmur kept Axelrod from participating in most active sports since his childhood, so his mother encouraged him to learn fencing at Stuyvesant High School in New York... After graduation, he studied with the 1920 Olympic champion Giorgio Santelli and won amateur titles as a member of the Salle Santelli club. Later, after the World War II, he fenced in his college team,  reaching the National Team Foil Championships in 1948 and also becoming the U.S. Intercollegiate Fencing Association and NCAA Champion.
 
Success came swiftly: since 1955  and until 1970, he was number 1 in US rankings four times, reached top 10 for a total of 22 times (!) and became National Foil Team Champion five times!
 
In his interviews, he denied that he was a natural born athlete and had inhuman reflexes, insisting he had no talent and his performance was due exclusively to extremely extensive training.
 
On the international scene, Axelrod was on five U.S. Olympic Teams (1952–68), winning the bronze medal in Individual Foil competition at the 1960 Summer Olympics, and was also a member of four U.S. Pan American Games teams. He won three team gold medals, one team silver, and four individual silvers in Foil.
 
Axelrod, being Jewish, won many medals in his six appearances at the World Maccabiah Games, and was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1973.
 
Albert Axelrod died of a heart attack in his home in the Bronx.
 
Sources: 
Martin, Douglas (March 5, 2004). "Albert Axelrod, 83, a Champion in Fencing". New York Times
"Albert Axelrod Olympic Results". sports-reference.com
 

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