Nephew of JFS CEO wins gold medal at Paralympic Games Toyko 2020

Photo Courtesy of

Jordan Palmer

Ian Seidenfeld, the nephew of Jewish Family Services (JFS) CEO Miriam Seidenfeld defeated the top player in the world and defending Paralympic champion, Peter Rosenmeier of Denmark, 3-0, to win the gold medal in men’s table tennis Class 6.

Seidenfeld’s father, Mitchell is himself a four-time Paralympic table tennis medalist, told TeamUSA.Org’s Bob Reinert, that Ian’s gold medal meant more to him than the one he earned in Barcelona in 1992.

“When he started to play table tennis, I knew that he would want to be good,” Mitchell said. “And he’s had to deal with a lot of pressure because he had to become a gold medalist. And it’s very difficult.

“So now he is a gold medalist. He has no more pressure. It was a little too much pressure for a boy to have, thinking that the only way to be successful is to be the best, but maybe it’s what drove him to become the best.”

The 20-year-old Ian defeated Rosenmeier, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium to claim his first gold medal.

“I couldn’t have dreamt for anything better,” Ian said. “I dreamt of it before the tournament, during the tournament, and now it’s coming to reality.”

Ian said the key to victory was executing his game plan.

“We kind of had a few notes on what we’ve done in the past — what worked, what hasn’t — and just tried to execute them better than before,” Ian said.

“The main thing was that he did a great job of keeping Rosenmeier from making his great shots,” Mitchell added. “We realized it wasn’t about making great shots, it was about controlling Rosenmeier, because Rosenmeier is such a great player that we didn’t want to see him making his big shots. Let him have to work for the points.”

Ian said that going in, he didn’t expect to beat Rosenmeier, who had defeated him 3-2 in preliminary round play.

“No chance,” Ian said. “I thought he was going to really beat me, but I take that mentality with a lot of my opponents. I respect them a lot.”