The 2016 Olympics have arrived. So many stories on security, unfinished facilities, and Zika fears. Oh, the Greek Gods are so fickle. But let’s focus on the Jewish and Israeli athletes who have come to Brazil to compete.
SOME ATHLETES TO WATCH
REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES
Eli Dershwitz will compete in saber. At 20 years old, he is the youngest ranked in the Top 25.
Nate Ebner – when he isn’t playing rugby – works for the New England Patriots NFL football team. He is 27 and a grad of Ohio State. Temple Sholom of Springfield, Ohio is rooting and perhaps praying for him. His father is the principal for the synagogue’s school.
Test, 26, hails from No Cal and is a star on the international rugby circuit. The Redwood City resident was known as “greased lightning” at the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City, from which he graduated. He played on the U.S. team at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Sport: Swimming, the 50 meter freestyle
Ervin is an Olympics pro, and suffers from Tourettes. When he was a teen, he won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics. he auctioned off his gold medal for $17,000 and donated the money to the Tsunami Relief Fund. This is his comeback Olympics. He has returned to swimming after spending time away from the sport, teaching in Brooklyn, and experiencing recreational drugs.
Sport: Water Polo
The baby Moses was placed in a basket in the water and later defeated the Sun god’s leader. This Moses, 39, also enjoys the water and succeeds in defeating his opposition. Moses has competed for the U.S. in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics (silver medalist) as a goalkeeper.
Sport: Women’s Rhythmic Gymnastics
Rokhman, 19, trains in Chicago and was raisned in Southern California. Her sister, also a gymnast, will compete, perhaps, as an Alternate.
Sport: Women’s Gymnastics
You probably recall that Raisman competed in 2012 to the sounds of Hava Nagila. This year, Raisman, 22, perhaps will perform to… Halleluya?
Israel has 47 athletes competing in 17 sports.
A few to especially watch are
A kosher observant, Belgian born Israeli golfer. Beck has won the Israeli Open Golf Championship five times, including for the first time when she was 12 years of age. She also won gold medals in golf in both the 2009 and 2013 Maccabiah Games. Beck attended Duke University from 2010–14, where she golfed for the Blue Devils.
Lonah arrived in Sirael from Kenya to work for its embassy. She ended up marrying an Israeli man, having a child, and decided to represent Israel at the Olympics.
A blond resident of Lehavim, Israel, Ron took up triathlon because it was the town sport, and every kid did it. His sister Kim is one of the leading women triathletes in Israel, and two of his brothers and another sister are amateur triathletes, as is his father. He trains in Brisbane, Australia. In an average week he swims 11 hours, bikes ten, and runs seven.
Yarden Gerbi, Uri Sasson and Sagi Muki
Gerbi was a world champion in 2013; Muki became a world champion in 2015.
Sport; Women’s Wrestling
She finished second in the European championships in 2013; 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Ida Marin, Alona Koshevatsky, Yuval Pilo, Ekaternina Levina, and Karina Lichber
Past gold medalists at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship
Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter
Sport: Beach Volleyball
Binstock, 35, is a veteran of the London Games. Last summer, at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, the pair finished eighth.
Three of the top leaders of the Rio Olympics Games are Sidney Levy, Carlos Arthur Nuzman (President), and Leonardo Gryner
Nathan Katz and Josh Katz
Nathan, 21, won this year’s Oceania tournament in the 66kg division and finished ninth at the 2015 Junior World Championships and seventh at the Tokyo Grand Slam.
Sport: Women’s Kayak
The 22-year-old Jewish athlete – who won a silver medal for Australia at the 2012 Olympics – won silver in the non-Olympic C1 (single canoe) and remains confident of a bold showing in Rio, having earned three silver medals and one gold during the series.
Sport: Men’s Handball
More To Come…