Is Tokyo Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer Lydia Jacobi Jewish?

17-year-old swimmer Lydia Jacobi from Seward, Alaska, surprised many when she came from behind to win the 100m breaststroke. Tokyo Olympics on Monday night. Even Jacobi himself couldn’t believe it: his jaw dropped when he took off his glasses and saw his time of 1 minute, 4 seconds.

Jacobi’s underdog status, as the first-ever Olympic swimmer from Alaska, which has just one Olympic-size pool, means Jewish viewers may have first wondered: Is Lydia Jacobi Jewish?

Jacobi, also spelled Jacobi, is a surname of Ashkenazi Jewish or German origin. lists the name as “Jewish, English and German”, a variant of Jacobi, and according to a baby names site, “Jacobi most likely derived from the Hebrew personal name ‘Yakov’. There has been a shifted use of a patronymic Jewish surname.’ which was eventually Latinized for Jacob.

Some notable Jacobi in history were Jewish, having fled the Nazis in Germany to become an influential Israeli composer, but many others were not. The swimming phenomenon does not appear to be Jewish.

Her parents, Richard and Leslie, are both boat captains and self-described “boatmen”. Leslie’s parents, Jerry Hines and Janet Hines (née Miles), were active in St. John’s United Methodist Church. anchor ground, according to his obituary. While the names cannot prove who is Jewish, public records suggest that Richard’s father is also named Richard and he has a brother, Christopher, both of which are impossible for Jewish men.

Jacobi’s hometown of Seward—where his high school classmates went viral about how they made him happy—has a population of about 2,773 people; The majority of the state’s Jews live in Anchorage.

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