Shalom Life | April 23, 2014

Israeli Achievements at the London 2012 Olympics

Sometimes a medal is not the only sign of success

By: Sharon Schwartzman

Published: August 20th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Israeli Achievements at the London 2012 Olympics

It happens every four years… the Olympics Games -- the pinnacle of every athlete’s dreams.

Whilst Israel may not have won any medals at the London Olympics, let’s not forget how hard it is to be an Israeli sportsperson. They endure rigorous daily training, strict discipline regimes and negligible financial rewards – all on behalf of the country.

As we look back on the recently completed Olympic experience, let us look at the achievements of our best Israeli athletes:

• Arik Ze’evi (judo): Although he lost in the first round after 43 seconds, we can only thank him for an amazing career which has included so many exciting highs, even though it ended on a low.

• Alex Stelov (artistic gymnastics) finished the final of the floor exercises in a very respectable sixth place with a score of 15.333. While many people expected him to win a medal, let’s remember what an achievement it is to reach sixth place. Stelov was the fifth to compete, and he got on to the mattress after the other competitors had already received very high marks. The Israeli gymnast knew that he had to deliver a perfect performance but in the end, although he tried to raise the level of difficulty, one slip in the middle cost him dearly.

• Yaakov Tomarkin (swimming) reached the finals of the 200 meters backstroke, becoming the first blue-and-white swimmer since Eitan Orbach in 2000 to make it into a final. Tomarkin said that he went to London -- his very first Olympics -- without particularly high expectations. Nevertheless, his achievements were impressive – he finished the finals in seventh place with a time of 1:57:62 minutes, setting a new Israeli record.

• Andy Ram and Yoni Ehrlich (doubles tennis) beat Roger Federer, the world’s number one ranking player, in the second round, and put up a brave fight in the quarter finals against the world's top couple who went on to win the gold medal. They were excited by the great victory of the American Olympic champions, and so were we.

As we look towards the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio, it is worth remembering these achievements, and hope for an even brighter Israeli Olympic experience.

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