Slovene wins Philadelphia Challenge Cup

Posted: May 15, 2011

The Philadelphia Challenge Cup, the gold trophy that was mysteriously missing for almost 50 years, will have a new name engraved on it for the first time since 1966.

Iztok Cop, representing Slovenia, won the single sculls competition at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. American Ken Jurkowski was the runner-up.

"When you win the singles sculls, you know you're the best," Cop said. "I'll be happy to come back and defend my title."

The gold cup was first presented to John B. Kelly Sr., who won the country's first Olympic gold medal in 1920. The Schuylkill Navy raised $2,500 and commissioned Bailey, Banks & Biddle to design a trophy befitting Kelly's achievement. The trophy disappeared in the mid-1960s before it was seen in a local antiques store. In 2010, a prominent group of rowing enthusiasts brought the cup back to the Schuylkill.

Prior to Saturday, the last winner of the cup was Don Spero in 1966. - Ray Parrillo

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