Dec. 08, 2011

Prof. (Emeritus) Shaul Ladany of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management is the only Israeli to have been elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He was recently notified of the honor by Alan Sherman, Chairman of the Hall of Fame. As induction ceremonies are held only once every 4 years, Ladany will be honored at the next ceremony which will take place at the Wingate Institute in July 2013 to coincide with the 19th World Maccabiah Games.

In 2007, Ladany was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal for outstanding services to the Olympic Movement and was cited as “an unusual person with unusual outstanding sports achievements during a span covering over four decades. Ladany has lived a double life for more than 50 years; training and competing in the field of sport as if it was his one and only interest, and being active in the field of academic science as if research and scientific activity in the field of industrial engineering and management was his one and only interest. 

His list of sporting achievements is impressive. One of the greatest race-walkers in history, Ladany still holds the world record in the 50-mile walk (7:23:50), and the Israeli national record in the 50-km walk (4:17:07 set in 1972).  

One of the best race walkers in the world in the 1960s and 1970s, Ladany competed in two Olympiads for Israel. At the 1968 Mexico City Games, Ladany finished in 24th place in the 50-km walk with a time of 5 hours, 1 minute, and 6 seconds. He then returned to the Olympics at the 1972 Munich Games as Israel's sole male representative in track and field. The morning after his race, Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village with the intention of taking the entire Israeli delegation hostage. Eleven Israelis were killed by the terrorists, but Ladany and four others escaped. 

Despite his high-level devotion to sports, he “moonlighted” as a scientist and university professor, pursuing a very successful academic career. As such, as a side-line of his research activity, he became a world leader in the development of the field of Operations Research in Sports, becoming the pioneer researcher and publisher of scientific articles in the field, the editor of books and of special-issues of scientific journals devoted to the subject, and the author of the “Management Science Applications to Sports” entry in two issues of the Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science.