Shalom Life | May 27, 2015

Raisman: Munich Anniversary Made Hava Nagila Routine ‘Special’

American Jewish gymnast reflects on her golden performance in London

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: August 8th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Raisman: Munich Anniversary Made Hava Nagila Routine ‘Special’

Following her gold medal winning performance in the women’s floor exercise on Tuesday, Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman paid tribute to the 11 Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich massacre.

The 18-year-old Olympian made headlines by performing her floor routine to “Hava Nagila,” making good on a promise she made to use the Hasidic tune at the Olympics.

While Raisman says that performing to “Hava Nagila” on the 40th anniversary of the Munich terror attack is merely a coincidence, the memory of the fallen Israeli Olympians nevertheless made it “special” for her to win gold using the popular Jewish song.

“Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” she told reporters after her performance. “But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me.”

When the judges announced her score of 15.600 points, Raisman became the first American woman to ever win gold in the Olympic floor exercise.

“That was the best floor performance I've ever done, and to do it for the Olympics is like a dream,” she said.

The native of Needham, Massachusetts also won gold in London in the women’s team competition, and took home a bronze medal in the women’s beam routine.

Raisman has said she is proud to be one of the few Jewish athletes in the world.

“I am Jewish, that's why I wanted that floor music,” she told the New York Post. “I wanted something the crowd could clap to, especially being here in London. It makes it even much more if the audience is going through everything with you. That was really cool and fun to hear the audience clapping.”

When asked about the IOC’s decision to ignore calls for a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the Olympics on July 27, Raisman said she would have supported a minute to pay tribute to the victims of the attack.

“If there had been a moment’s silence, I would have supported it and respected it.”

A memorial ceremony for the Munich victims was held Monday in London, organized by the Israeli Embassy in London and the National Olympic Committee of Israel along with the London Jewish community.

IOC President Jacques Rogge, who spoke at the memorial, held a moment of silence for the Israelis at a small ceremony in the Olympic Village prior to the start of the Olympics, which was attended by about 100 people. He has said the opening ceremony would not have been an appropriate setting for a moment of silence for the victims.

IN PHOTOS: Israel's 2nd Annual Burning Man Festival IN PHOTOS: Israel's 2nd Annual Burning Man Festival TrendingWATCH: This Guy's Trying to Take Over Harry Shearer's Job WATCH: This Guy's Trying to Take Over Harry Shearer's Job TrendingJoshua Davis: It Feels Good to Be Home Joshua Davis: It Feels Good to Be Home Trending
 

Face the Music Toronto Offers A Night of Great Music, and For a Good Cause

May 26, 2015 | By Shalom Life Team
Face the Music Toronto Offers A Night of Great Music, and For a Good Cause

Proceeds from UJA's new signature charity fundraiser will support summer camp scholarships for kids in need

Read More

5,000-Year-Old Music Scene Discovered in Western Galilee

May 26, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
5,000-Year-Old Music Scene Discovered in Western Galilee

Israeli archaeologists excavated a symbolic cylinder seal, the oldest in existence

Read More

This Toddler Threw a Fit in Front of President Obama During a Passover Seder

May 26, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
This Toddler Threw a Fit in Front of President Obama During a Passover Seder

The young girl made quite a scene at the White House, captured in a photo that's obviously gone viral

Read More

1,000-year-old Jewish Marriage Contract Goes on Display in Jerusalem

May 26, 2015 | By JNS.org
1,000-year-old Jewish Marriage Contract Goes on Display in Jerusalem

Written in Aramaic, the ketubah has been dated to Nov. 28, 1023

Read More

IN PHOTOS: Israel's 2nd Annual Burning Man Festival

May 26, 2015 | By Ilana Curiel
IN PHOTOS: Israel's 2nd Annual Burning Man Festival

Over 6,500 attended Midburn Festival, celebrating art, creativity and expression; here is a recap of their experience, through a lens

Read More

Garfunkel Trash Talks Simon in New interview

May 26, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
Garfunkel Trash Talks Simon in New interview

Art speaks about his unhappiness with former partner Paul Simon since their split, calling him a "monster"

Read More

New Girl’s Schmidt to Star in American Horror Story

May 26, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
New Girl’s Schmidt to Star in American Horror Story

Max Greenfield will make an appearance in AHS Hotel in October

Read More

Israeli Cancer Survivor Gives Birth to Twins Thanks to Revolutionary Procedure

May 26, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Israeli Cancer Survivor Gives Birth to Twins Thanks to Revolutionary Procedure

"I look down at them and I still don't believe it," says 41-year-old Israeli Revital of her twins

Read More

More Headlines