The Story behind PSAL Winged Victory Medal
Maybe you were one of the many students who received the PSAL Winged Victory medal during gym class at J.H.S. 47. What was this medal, and what was it for? Former student John Garbera, ’53 wrote to former gym teacher Arnold Allison, who taught during the 1950s. Below are excerpts from Mr. Allison’s letter:
PSAL stands for Public School Athletic League.
The PSAL supervised all athletic and physical [education] activities and wanted us to test all the students once a year. The medal. . .is just one of a series of medals that they distributed for physical accomplishments.
My best regards and love to all my 47 students.
Arnold Allison, JHS 47 from 1945 to 1974
My second home
During the 1940s to the 1960s, a PSAL Winged Victory bronze-colored pin was given to students for outstanding physical achievements. On the right side of the pin were the letters “PSAL.” In the middle was the statue of a Greek headless goddess figure, Nike, also known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
The Statue of Winged Victory of Samothrace
Samothrace is a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea. A magnificent marble statue of Nike of Samothrace was discovered in 1863 on the shores of Samothrace. This statue was created in approximately 190 BC to commemorate her great victory of riding in a chariot against enemies during a historical battle. Even today, she represents strength, speed and triumph.
Page last updated January 16, 2014