Israel at the Olympics

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Israel at the
Olympics
Flag of Israel.svg
IOC code ISR
NOC Olympic Committee of Israel
Website www.olympicsil.co.il (in Hebrew) (in English)
Medals
Gold
1
Silver
1
Bronze
7
Total
9
Summer appearances
Winter appearances

Israel has competed at the Olympic Games as a nation since 1952. Its National Olympic Committee was formed in 1933 during the British Mandate of Palestine.[1] Israel has sent a team to each Summer Olympic Games since 1952 (except when they participated in the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics) and to each Winter Olympic Games since 1994. The country became a member of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in 1994.

History[edit]

In 1933 the Palestine National Olympic Committee was officially formed, and was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in May 1934,[2] despite never competing.[1] Although the Palestine National committee represented Muslims, Jews, and Christians living in Mandatory Palestine, its rules stated that they "represent[ed] the Jewish National Home."[1]

Israel was previously part of the Asian Games Federation until it was disbanded in 1981. In 1982 instead of joining the new Olympic Council of Asia, Israel opted to join the European Olympic Committees.[3]

Competing[edit]

Israel won its first Olympic medal in its tenth Olympic appearance, in 1992, in Judo when Yael Arad won a silver medal.[4] She was followed a day later by another judoka, Oren Smadja, who won bronze.[5] Since then, Israel won a bronze medal in five successive Summer Olympics until the streak ended in 2012. Additionally, in 2004, Gal Fridman became Israel's first and only gold medallist, in men's windsurfing.[6] This was his second medal, following his bronze in 1996,[6] and he is the only multi-medallist. Israel also won 2 bronze metals in 2016. Through 2014, Israel had not won any medals in the Winter Olympics.

Ágnes Keleti, who emigrated to Israel in 1957, holds more medals than any other Israeli citizen. During the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics Ágnes won 10 medals competing for Hungary at the Olympics.[7] The only Jew to hold more medals than Keleti is American swimmer Mark Spitz, who won 11.[8]

Israel has been more successful at the Paralympic Games than at the Olympics, with 375 medals between 1960 and 2016.[9]

Conflicts with nations[edit]

1936 Summer Olympics[edit]

Individual Jewish athletes from a number of countries chose to boycott the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. In the United States, the American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Labor Committee supported a boycott.[10] The JLC organized the World Labor Athletic Carnival, held on August 15th and 16th at New York’s Randall’s Island, to protest the holding of the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany.[11]

1972 Summer Olympics[edit]

Eleven members of Israel's 1972 Olympic team were murdered during the Munich massacre:[12] The tragedy caused the Israeli delegation to withdraw from the remainder of the Games.

The murdered people were:

On 3 August 2016, two days prior to the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee officially honored the Israelis killed for the first time.[13]

Recent events[edit]

Israeli judoka Ori Sasson

An Iranian judoka, Arash Miresmaeili, did not compete in a match against Israeli Ehud Vaks during the 2004 Summer Olympics, due to the government of Iran having taken steps to avoid any competition between its athletes and those from Israel. He was officially disqualified for being overweight, however Miresmaeli was awarded US$125,000 in prize money by the Iranian government, an amount paid to all Iranian gold medal winners. The International Judo Federation conducted an investigation to see if he intentionally came in overweight in order to miss the bout. He was officially cleared of intentionally avoiding the bout, but his receipt of the prize money raised suspicion.[14] Saudi Arabian judoka, Joud Fahmy, forfeited her match in the 2016 Summer Olympics in order to avoid competing against Gili Cohen.[15] Later in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Israeli Or Sasson defeated Egyptian judoka Islam El Shahaby in the first round, after the match ended, Sasson tried to shake his opponent's hand, but El Shahaby refused.[16]

Prior to the 2016 opening ceremony, the Lebanese delegation was assigned to ride on the same bus as the Israeli delegation.[17] The head of the Lebanese team, Salim al-Haj Nicolas, admitted that he demanded that the bus door be closed on the Israeli team, and that the Lebanese demanded that the Israeli athletes not board the bus. Udi Gal, an Israeli Olympic sailor, said his team ultimately decided to travel separately to avoid an "international and physical incident" but added "How could they let this happen on the eve of the Olympic Games? Isn't this the opposite of what the Olympics represents?"[18]

Medal tables[edit]

Gold medalist windsurfer Gal Fridman

Medals by Games[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Spain 1992 Barcelona 0 1 1 2
United States 1996 Atlanta 0 0 1 1
Australia 2000 Sydney 0 0 1 1
Greece 2004 Athens 1 0 1 2
China 2008 Beijing 0 0 1 1
Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro 0 0 2 2
Total 1 1 7 9

Medals by sport[edit]

Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total
Sailing 1 0 2 3
Judo 0 1 4 5
Canoeing 0 0 1 1
Total 1 1 7 9

List of medalists[edit]

Medal Name Games Sport Event
 Silver[4] Yael Arad Spain 1992 Barcelona Judo pictogram.svg Judo Women's half middleweight
 Bronze[5] Oren Smadja Spain 1992 Barcelona Judo pictogram.svg Judo Men's lightweight
 Bronze[6] Gal Fridman United States 1996 Atlanta Sailing pictogram.svg Sailing Men's sailboard
 Bronze[19] Michael Kolganov Australia 2000 Sydney Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg Canoeing Men's K-1 500 metres
 Bronze[20] Ariel Zeevi Greece 2004 Athens Judo pictogram.svg Judo Men's half heavyweight
 Gold[6] Gal Fridman Greece 2004 Athens Sailing pictogram.svg Sailing Men's sailboard
 Bronze[21] Shahar Tzuberi China 2008 Beijing Sailing pictogram.svg Sailing Men's sailboard
 Bronze[22] Yarden Gerbi Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro Judo pictogram.svg Judo Women's half middleweight
 Bronze[23] Or Sasson Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro Judo pictogram.svg Judo Men's heavyweight

Olympic participants[edit]

Summer Olympics[edit]

Sport 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 Total
Athletics 7 1 8 5 2 2 1 7 4 4 9 5 4 3 8 70
Badminton 1 1 2
Basketball 13 13
Boxing 2 3 1 6
Canoeing/Kayaking 1 1 5 3 1 11
Cycling 2 2 4
Diving 1 1 2
Fencing 2 2 1 4 1 1 3 1 1 3 19
Football 19 17 36
Golf 1 1
Gymnastics 3 1 5 3 1 1 2 8 10 7 41
Judo 1 8 4 2 3 5 3 5 7 38
Sailing 2 1 5 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 6 54
Shooting 4 2 3 4 2 1 2 3 3 2 2 3 1 1 33
Swimming 1 1 4 2 6 1 2 3 1 5 4 11 4 9 7 9 70
Synchronized swimming 2 2 4
Table tennis 1 1
Taekwondo 1 1 1 3
Tennis 1 4 1 2 4 3 1 16
Triathlon 1 1
Weightlifting 2 3 1 1 2 3 1 3 1 17
Wrestling 3 1 4 1 3 1 13
Total 26 3 23 10 31 15 27 37 20 31 25 41 35 43 37 47 451

Winter Olympics[edit]

Sport 1994 1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018 Total
Alpine Skiing 1 1 1 1 4
Figure Skating 1 3 4 4 2 3 7 24
Short Track Speed Skating 1 1 1 3
Skeleton 1 1
Total 1 3 5 5 3 5 10 32

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement". 
  2. ^ "Sport, Politics and Society in the Land of Israel". 
  3. ^ "Israel". eurolympic.org. Archived from the original on 2014-04-15. 
  4. ^ a b "Yael Arad, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com. 
  5. ^ a b "Shay-Oren Smadja, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Gal Fridman". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-14. 
  7. ^ AGNES KELETI (KLEIN)
  8. ^ MARK SPITZ
  9. ^ "Israel". paralympic.org. 
  10. ^ "The Movement to Boycott the Berlin Olympics of 1936". ushmm.org. 
  11. ^ 1936: Anti-Nazi World Labor Athletic Carnival Held in NYC
  12. ^ "The New Dimension of International Terrorism". 
  13. ^ First official Olympic ceremony held in memory of Munich victims
  14. ^ "BBC NEWS - Europe - Mystery over Iran judo 'protest'". bbc.co.uk. 
  15. ^ Saudi judoka forfeits Rio match, apparently to avoid Israeli
  16. ^ Rio Olympics 2016 - Egypt Judo Fighter El Shehabt refuses to shake hands of Israeli Or Sasson
  17. ^ Israel protests after Lebanese athletes refuse to share Olympic bus
  18. ^ Rio 2016 Olympics: Lebanese athletes refuse to travel with Israel team
  19. ^ "Michael Kolganov". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. 
  20. ^ "Ariel Zeevi, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com. 
  21. ^ "BBC SPORT - Olympics - Sailing - Dempsey misses windsurfing medal". bbc.co.uk. 
  22. ^ "Yarden Gerbi wins bronze medal in judo, Israel's first medal of the Rio Olympics - Sports". Haaretz.com. 
  23. ^ "Or Sassson wins Israel's second judo bronze at Rio Games". Times of Israel. 

External links[edit]