Irina Natanovna Press[nb 1] (10 March 1939 – 21 February 2004) was a multitalented Soviet athlete who competed at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics. In 1960 she won a gold medal in the 80 m hurdles and finished fourth in the 4 × 100 m relay. In 1964 she finished fourth in the hurdles and sixth in the shot put, but won gold in the newly introduced pentathlon event.
Irina Press at the 1964 Olympics
|Born||10 March 1939|
Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Died||21 February 2004 (aged 64)|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||75 kg (165 lb)|
|Sport||Pentathlon, sprint running, shot put|
|Club||Dynamo St. Petersburg|
Together with her elder sister Tamara, Irina set 26 world records between 1959 and 1966. Both Press sisters ended their careers abruptly when gender verification was introduced. Some have suggested that the Press sisters were male or intersex. Another allegation was that they were being injected with male hormones by the Soviet government in order to make them stronger.
After retiring from competitions Press earned a degree in physical education and coached at her club Dynamo Moscow. She also took various posts in the Soviet sports administration, such as department head of the Soviet and later Russian State Committee on Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism. From 2000 and until her death in 2004 she headed the Moscow Committee of Physical Culture and Sports.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Irina Press.|
- Irina Press Archived 19 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. sports-reference.com
- "Irina Press (Soviet athlete)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Britannica.com.
- "Irina Press". Telegraph. 31 May 2004.
- Tamara PRESS – U.S.S.R. – 1960 and 1964 Olympic Shot Put champion. Sporting Heroes
- "Gender testing in sport". Reuters. 20 December 2006.
- Wallechinsky, David (2012). The Book of Olympic Lists. p. 20. ISBN 978-1845137731.
- "Switch hitter: If a man has a sex change can he compete in the Olympics as a woman?" thestraightdope.com; 22 August 2008
- Irina Press at Sports Reference