Joseph G. Kopsky
Inducted in 2001 for Veteran Road & Track Competitor (Pre-1945)
Biography (1884 – 1974)
Born, November 2, 1884 in New York City. Kopsky was a member of the League of American Wheelmen, riding many high-wheel bicycle races and was one of the founders of the Century Road Club of America.
Joseph was a member of the 1912 Olympic Road Team which competed in Stockholm, Sweden. The road race was an individual time trial of 200 miles and the first 4 finishers of each team scored in the team competition. Riders used one-speed fixed gear bikes. The team won a Bronze Medal, the first ever USA Olympic bicycling medal. The USA would not win another Olympic cycling medal until the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
On May 5, 1912 he set a national record for riding 150 miles in 8:26.27. After the 1912 Olympics, Kopsky turned professional and entered the “Six-Day racing” field. He rode in every six-day race held in Chicago and New York (as well as other international events) from 1913 to 1925 (35 races).
He was active in competition until retiring in 1925 at the age of 41. When he retired from racing he owned and operated a bicycle shop in Belleville NJ and engineered racing equipment. Kopsky started the North Hudson Wheelmen and the Belleville Bicycle Club and trained many local riders. After World War II, he moved with his wife and daughter to the Miami suburb of Coral Gables. Joe died on January 30, 1974 at the age of 91. His daughter, Doris Kopsky Muller, was also inducted into the USBHOF in 1992
Compiled by Peter Nye