Wonderkid Andrea Davidovich has played down her chances of claiming Israel’s first-ever medal at the Winter Olympics, beginning next week.
At 16, Davidovich is the youngest member of a five-athlete delegation heading to Sochi, and she says she will use the event as stepping stone for future glory.
"I hope we can make the top 10 this time and looking ahead to the next Olympics, I think we can be in the top five," said Davidovich — a US citizen with Israeli parents.
Figure skating has traditionally been Israel’s strongest winter sports discipline and this time Alexei Bychenko will compete in the men’s event and Evgeni Krasnopolski, 25, and Davidovich in the pairs. Vladislav Bykanov will take part in the 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m short-track speed-skating and Virgile Vandeput in the men’s Alpine skiing giant slalom and slalom.
Both Bychenko and Bykanov are new immigrants from Ukraine, while Vandeput is a former member of the Belgian team.
The American squad harbours the most realistic hopes of a Jewish medal winner, with snowboarders Seth Hill, nicknamed ‘the Dreidel’, along with the brother-and-sister team of Taylor Gold and Arielle Gold pushing for medals.
The siblings are dedicating their efforts to the children at the Morgridge Academy at National Jewish Health — America’s leading respiratory hospital — whom they visited in the build-up to the event.