Israel at the Olympics
|Israel at the Olympic Games|
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. 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.
In 1933 the Palestine National Olympic Committee was officially formed, and was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in May 1934, despite never competing. 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."
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.
Israel won its first Olympic medal in its tenth Olympic appearance, in 1992, in Judo when Yael Arad won a silver medal. She was followed a day later by another judoka, Oren Smadja, who won bronze. 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. This was his second medal, following his bronze in 1996, and he is the only multi-medallist. Israel also won 2 bronze metals in 2016. Through 2014, Israel has not won any medals in the Winter Olympics.
Ágnes Keleti 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. The only Jew to hold more medals than Keleti is Mark Spitz who won 11.
Conflicts with nations
1936 Summer Olympics
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. 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.
1972 Summer Olympics
The murdered people were:
- David Berger, 28, weightlifter
- Ze'ev Friedman, 28, weightlifter
- Yossef Gutfreund, 40, wrestling referee
- Eliezer Halfin, 24, wrestler
- Yossef Romano, 31, weightlifter
- Amitzur Shapira, 40, track coach
- Kehat Shorr, 53, shooting coach
- Mark Slavin, 18, wrestler
- Andre Spitzer, 27, fencing coach
- Yakov Springer, 51, weightlifting judge
- Moshe Weinberg, 33, wrestling coach
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. Saudi Arabian judoka, Joud Fahmy, forfeited her match in the 2016 Summer Olympics in order to avoid competing against Gili Cohen. 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.
Prior to the 2016 opening ceremony, the Lebanese delegation was assigned to ride on the same bus as the Israeli delegation. 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?"
Medals by Games
|2016 Rio de Janeiro||0||0||2||2|
|2020 Tokyo||future event|
Medals by sport
List of medalists
|Silver||Arad, YaelYael Arad||1992 Barcelona||Judo||Women's half middleweight|
|Bronze||Smadja, OrenOren Smadja||1992 Barcelona||Judo||Men's lightweight|
|Bronze||Fridman, GalGal Fridman||1996 Atlanta||Sailing||Men's sailboard|
|Bronze||Kolganov, MichaelMichael Kolganov||2000 Sydney||Canoeing||Men's K-1 500 metres|
|Bronze||Zeevi, ArielAriel Zeevi||2004 Athens||Judo||Men's half heavyweight|
|Gold||Fridman, GalGal Fridman||2004 Athens||Sailing||Men's sailboard|
|Bronze||Tzuberi, ShaharShahar Tzuberi||2008 Beijing||Sailing||Men's sailboard|
|Bronze||Gerbi, YardenYarden Gerbi||2016 Rio de Janeiro||Judo||Women's half middleweight|
|Bronze||Sasson, OrOr Sasson||2016 Rio de Janeiro||Judo||Men's heavyweight|
|Short Track Speed Skating||1||1||2|
- "Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement".
- "Sport, Politics and Society in the Land of Israel".
- "Israel". eurolympic.org.
- "Yael Arad, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com.
- "Shay-Oren Smadja, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com.
- "Gal Fridman". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com.
- AGNES KELETI (KLEIN)
- MARK SPITZ
- "Israel". paralympic.org.
- "The Movement to Boycott the Berlin Olympics of 1936". ushmm.org.
- 1936: Anti-Nazi World Labor Athletic Carnival Held in NYC
- "The New Dimension of International Terrorism".
- First official Olympic ceremony held in memory of Munich victims
- "BBC NEWS - Europe - Mystery over Iran judo 'protest'". bbc.co.uk.
- Saudi judoka forfeits Rio match, apparently to avoid Israeli
- Rio Olympics 2016 - Egypt Judo Fighter El Shehabt refuses to shake hands of Israeli Or Sasson
- Israel protests after Lebanese athletes refuse to share Olympic bus
- Rio 2016 Olympics: Lebanese athletes refuse to travel with Israel team
- "Michael Kolganov". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com.
- "Ariel Zeevi, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com.
- "BBC SPORT - Olympics - Sailing - Dempsey misses windsurfing medal". bbc.co.uk.
- "Yarden Gerbi wins bronze medal in judo, Israel's first medal of the Rio Olympics - Sports.". Haaretz.com.
- "Or Sassson wins Israel's second judo bronze at Rio Games.". Times of Israel.