Biography: COHEN, Steve

COHEN, Steve

Inducted: 1991
Born: Wynnefield, Pennsylvania

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Steve Cohen began his competitive gymnastic career on a high note at West Philadelphia High School.  He was golden in the AA for 32 straight individual meets and won AA gold three straight years in the Philadelphia High School Championships. Steve was presented with the Nissen Award as the nation’s outstanding senior collegiate gymnast. It is considered the “Heisman Trophy” of gymnastics and is inscribed with the motto: “The true champion seeks excellence physically, mentally, socially, and morally.”

Olympic Games: Team member, Mexico City, Mexico, (1968). After the Olympics, Dave Thor and Steve Cohen wrote individual articles for the Nov./Dec. Issue of The Modern Gymnast. Comprehensive descriptions of the pre-Olympic training regimen were described. Apparently, pre-Olympic training and the final team selection process had begun to change since the early ‘60’s games with the coaches taking a more active role in determining training and rest schedules. Trying to find a perfect common training program for six to eight athletes who accomplished the Olympic level using different schedules and regimens appears to have been a difficult task for the coaches and athletes as well. NCAA Championships: Gold-AA, (1967 & 1968) competing for Penn State University. World Games: USA Team member, (1966). Maccabiah Games: Silver-Combined AA, Plus nine additional medals in the compulsory and optional events. Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastic Championships: Gold-AA, (1965 & 1966). Honors: Pennsylvania Hall of Fame Award as the collegiate athlete of the year. Education: B.S. @ Penn State U., M.D. @ University of Pennsylvania Medical School, (1971).  Steve Cohen continues to exhibit the attributes inscribed on the Nissen Award through his work in academic medicine for nearly 25 years. He is a recognized authority in the field of environmental and occupational dermatology with a curriculum Vita that features over 100 publications including 43 original reports in a wide range of professional journals. Beginning 2006, Dr. Cohen will become Professor and Chief of dermatology at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. Family: m. Phyllis Samitz Cohen who has worked with the Municipal Art Society for 18 years as the Director of a program to save public art in New York City. Children: Two boys. Miles is Concert Manager for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Justine is in medical school.

Sources: Information and action photo courtesy of Jerry Wright, author of Gymnastics Who’s Who, 2005. Credit is also due A. Bruce Frederick, author of Who’s Who in American Gymnastics and Abie Grossfeld, 1979 HOF Inductee, and Bruce Davis for their reviewing, correcting, and editing services.  Introduction, commentary, and formatting by Larry Banner, Web Manager.

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