Olympics

Israeli ice skater's misery at Olympic deselection

By Jessica Elgot, February 10, 2010

Three Israeli athletes are gearing up for the start of the Winter Olympics on Friday, hoping this will be the year the country finally wins a medal.

But Tamar Katz, a 22-year-old figure skater and three-time Israeli champion, has not qualified, despite meeting the standards set by the Winter Olympics committee.

Controversially, the Israeli Olympic Committee decided not to send her because she did not finish in the top 14 at the World Championships held in Spokane, Washington.

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Israel to invest £8m in Olympic squad

By Danny Caro, January 21, 2010

Israel is investing £8 million on an Olympics squad that will make the 2012 Games the country’s best-ever, pledges the man who will make it happen.

Efraim Zinger, the Secretary-General of the Olympic Committee of Israel says he hopes to take at least 40 athletes to London.

Zinger believes that the nation’s best hopes of silverware will come in judo, wind-surfing and gymnastics.

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Olympic hopes boosted by tennis doubles addition

By Simon Griver, December 17, 2009

Israel’s hopes of winning an Olympic medal in 2012 have been boosted by the IOC’s decision to introduce a mixed doubles tennis tournament.

Doubles specialist and grand slam winner Andy Ram said that he was looking forward to teaming up with Shahar Peer in London.

“I have never partnered Shahar but I’m sure we can be successful. I’ve enjoyed a lot of achievements in mixed doubles including two grand slam titles.”

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Israel looks to diaspora to boost Olympic bid

By James Martin, December 10, 2009

Israel will select a maximum of five athletes for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, although the secretary-general of the Olympic Committee of Israel admits that there is “no hope” of the country gaining a medal.

The squad, which flies out to Canada in preparation for the games in early February, will include two figure skaters in the singles competition and a skier, whilst there could also be a involvement in the figure skating pairs if they make the qualification standard.

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Jewish athlete's record restored by Germany

By Jessica Elgot, November 24, 2009

A 95 year-old Jewish woman stripped of her high jump record by Nazi Germany has had her record restored by the German track and field association.

Gretel Bergmann, who is now Margaret Bergmann Lambert, emigrated to New York in 1937 after she was 'replaced' at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by the Nazi government because she was Jewish.

Mrs Lambert had already left Germany for the UK in 1934 after she was banned from her athletics club for being Jewish.

She had previously recorded a world record high jump of 5 feet and 3 inches, having been on the German team for two years.

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Jewish businessmen on board for Olympic Park

November 12, 2009

Three Jewish businessman have been appointed on to the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s new board responsible for the management, business planning and marketing of the Olympic Park leading up to the 2012 London Games and beyond.

Philip Lewis is a former chairman of Sport England. He was also part of the Great Britain Maccabiah Over 45 team who won gold in Israel in July. A trustee at London Maccabi, he is also Deputy Chairman of Lambert Smith Hampton.

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London 2012: Which Jewish athletes are in the running?

September 24, 2009

As anticipation starts to build for the London Olympics, the world’s greatest showcase of track and field athletics, now seems a good time to review the state of health of UK Jewish athletics.

Last month’s Maccabiah Games provided a telling indicator. It showcased the talents of two bright prospects — Richard Goodman, 16, of Stanmore, who won two golds and a bronze in the junior middle-distance events, and Jennifer Simmons, 18, of Manchester, who won gold in the senior 400m hurdles and bronze in the 400m flat.

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Nazis used man in women's Olympics

September 3, 2009

A new film reveals how the Nazis replaced a female Jewish athlete with a man in drag during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The feature film Berlin 36, which opens in Germany next week, tells the story of star high-jumper Gretel Bergmann. Ms Bergmann was banned from competing in the Olympics to shield Hitler from the embarrassment of a Jewish athlete winning.

Bergmann’s replacement was her roommate Horst Ratjen, who posed as “Dora”. He kept his gender secret from his teammates by shaving his legs several times a day and showering alone.

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Kosher Big Mac offer for the Olympics

By Leon Symons, May 7, 2009

A mouth-watering prospect has been raised for the London Olympics in three years’ time — and it has nothing to do with sport.

Orthodox Jews who are enthusiastic sports fans usually ensure they have something to eat at such events by taking a packed lunch.

But that might not be necessary if the Jewish Committee for the London Games, part of the London Jewish Forum, gets its way.

It has asked the Games’ organisers to set up kosher food stands provided by the Games’ main food sponsor, McDonald’s.

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Sport in brief

December 18, 2008

Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Richard Goodman, 15, won the combined Under 17 and Under 20 North Thames Cross Country Championships in Kingsbury.

Competing against runners-up to four years his senior, Goodman of Stanmore finished 55 seconds clear of the rest of the field. “Before the race, former world record holder Dave Bedford told me that I could be the next Dave Bedford, and that I had the perfect physique for cross-country and middle-distance. That encouragement inspired me to run what I think is one of my best races.”

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