Biography: PREISS, Emil


Inducted: 1964
Born: Germany

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Deutsche Turnfest-Cologne, Germany
AA [T]Karl Reuter (Lft.)
Emil Preiss (Rt.)

Emil Preiss is another individual who made important contributions to the development of American gymnastics. He learned as a competitor and took his championship skills into the gym to help college and junior gymnasts to learn what he could teach what he had learned well. Yes, he is an unsung hero of American gymnastics, but herein readers have a chance to reflect on another individual, almost unknown in this day and age, who helped create the basis for the international medals America has garnered in recent years.

General: Emil Preiss was a top European gymnast who immigrated to the U.S. in 1924. He entered Turner Normal College in Indianapolis, Indiana. National Turner Championships: Gold-AA, (1926). National AAU Championships: Gold-FX, (1925). National German Championships: Gold-AA[T], (1928). Coach: Emil began coaching at the Chicago Turners in 1926 and later accepted the position of Head Gymnastics Coach at the University of Pennsylvania, (1930). He also taught at the Riverside, New Jersey Turners at the same time he was at the U. of Pennsylvania. It appears that Riverside is just across the river from Philadelphia, and Preiss coached there probably during his evening and week-end hours. He remained at the University until his death in 1962. Emil is credited with contributing much to the development of Junior Gymnastics in the U.S.

Sources: Official NAAU result reports and Jerry Wright, author of Gymnastics Who’s Who, 2005. Introduction and formatting by Dr. Larry Banner, Web Manager.

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