Big Macc squeezed on funds

By Simon Griver and Danny Caro, December 4, 2008

There are fears that next year's Jewish Olympics could be scaled down as a result of the credit crunch.

The latest financial crisis engulfing July's Maccabiah Games revolves around the failure of the organisers to raise sufficient sponsorship funds due to the global recession.


Paralympic athletes frustrated by lack of funds

By Simon Griver, September 19, 2008

Israel's Paralympic squad have blamed financial constraints for their disappointing performance in Beijing.
The 42-person delegation returns home today with less than half the medals they won in Athens four years ago and without a single gold.

Israel claimed six medals, five silver and one bronze, compared to 13 medals in the last games, which included four golds.


Silver-lining as Pezaro makes waves in Beijing

By Simon Griver, September 12, 2008

Israeli swimmer Inbal Pezaro emerged as the country's biggest star in the opening stages of the Paralympics in Beijing.

Pezaro - who was born with a spinal disorder that left her paralysed from the legs down - claimed silver in both the 100 metres and 200 metres freestyle, thus improving on her medal haul in the 2004 Athens Paralympics where she took silver and bronze.

Pezaro, who serves as a volunteer swimming instructor in the IDF, hopes to extend her medal haul when she competes in the 50 metres freestyle and 100 metres breaststroke.


Israel hope

September 4, 2008
Three Olympic medallists have been invited to take part at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel next year.
American duo Garrett Weber-Gale and Jason Lezak, world record holders in 4x100 metres freestyle, along with 41-year-old Dara Torres, were asked to compete by Yoav Bruk, the Maccabiah ambassador and Israeli former Olympic swimmer.


Windsurfer put's Israel on the map

By Simon Griver, August 21, 2008

Israel's Shahar Zubari won bronze in the RS:X Windsurfing competition in Qingdao.

The 21-year-old from Eilat had gone into the final race in fourth position overall but he held his nerve to finish second and edge out Britain's Nick Dempsey.

"I had butterflies in my stomach before the last race," said Zubari, "but once I got started I was only focused on getting ahead of the field. It went very well tactically and I enjoyed the last part of the race as I knew a medal was guaranteed."


High-ho, there’s a silver lining

By Danny Caro, August 21, 2008

No golds for British Jew, but giant Josh (all 6ft 9ins of him) gets the next best thing, writes Graham Morrison in Beijing

Josh West, the only Jewish - and, at 6ft 9 in, the tallest - athlete on the British team in Beijing, has won silver in the rowing eights.

"It sure makes up for Athens," said West. "It was great to be on the podium."


Windsurfer ends Israel's medal drought

By Simon Griver, August 20, 2008

Israel's Shahar Zubari won the bronze medal in the RS:X Windsurfing competition in Qingdao.

The 21-year-old from Eilat had gone into the final race in fourth position overall but he held his nerve to finish second and edge Britain's Nick Dempsey, who could only manage seventh place, out of the bronze medal position.


GB rower West takes silver

By Graham Morrison, August 18, 2008

Josh West, the only Jewish athlete in the Great Britain squad, helped the men's eight to silver in Beijing.

West, who was part of the men's eight who finished in ninth place in Athens, said: "We were out there racing for the gold, but silver is still amazing. It's a very different experience being out there at the top rather than at the bottom."

Originally from Santa Fe, USA, the 31-year-old, who helped Cambridge to two Varsity race victories, steered the team to a second place podium finish as they crossed the line behind Canada.


Windsurfer saves Israel’s blushes in Beijing

By Simon Griver, August 14, 2008

Olympics Israeli windsurfer Shahar Zubari has opened up a significant lead in the RS:X windsurfing competition in Qingdao.

In the first four of 11 races, the 21-year-old from Eilat had two wins and two third places. Only a complete collapse of form will deny the Israeli the opportunity of standing on the medal podium after the final race next Wednesday.

The feeling in the Israeli camp is that Zubari will emulate Gal Fridman, who won Israel's first-ever gold medal in the windsurfing event in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.


Lezak a big help to Phelps

By Graham Morrison, August 14, 2008

Michael Phelps owed a considerable debt of gratitude to Jason Lezak, the oldest swimmer in the American men's squad, as he this week surpassed Mark Spitz's tally of nine Olympic golds.

Lezak, 32, recorded a superb 46.06 in the anchor leg of the final of the 4x100 metres freestyle relay to edge out the French squad by 0.67 seconds.

The Californian, who took up the sport at the age of five, is competing in his third consecutive Games.