Friday, September 24th 2021   |

Summer Olympics

Tokyo Olympics: All the Jewish athletes to watch

By EMILY BURACK

(JTA) — The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are finally happening, a full year after they were planned. And yes, they’re still being called the 2020 Olympics, even though they’re happening in 2021.

The Jewish athletes competing this year — and there are many — are the products of inspiring journeys.

There’s the fencer looking for redemption, Israel’s first Olympic surfer, one of the greatest canoe paddlers of all time,...

Teenage Orthodox pingpong phenom may have to skip Olympics because trials are on Shabbat

(JTA) — An 18-year-old pingpong star may have to skip this year’s Olympics because the U.S. trials are scheduled for Shabbat and she is an Orthodox Jew.

While many Orthodox Jews will informally play sports on Shabbat, they generally do not take part in organized competition.

Estee Ackerman, who won the women’s division at the 2018 Table Tennis U.S. Open, reached out to USA Table Tennis via her father in...

Aly Raisman calls out her abuser Larry Nassar in a powerful speech: ‘The tables have turned’

(JTA) — If there were Olympic medals for court testimony, Aly Raisman might have just won gold.

The Olympian gymnast testified in court today against Larry Nassar, the former U.S.A. gymnastics national team physician who’s been accused of sexual abuse by more than 140 women, including some of the star gymnasts from the past few Olympic Games. Nassar has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault, and Raisman was...

Aly Raisman says Olympic team doctor molested her

(JTA) — Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman said that she was sexually abused by the women’s gymnastics national team doctor.

Raisman, who is Jewish and is one of the most accomplished gymnasts in U.S. history, made the allegation against Dr. Larry Nassar in an interview scheduled to air Sunday on the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” as well as in her new book, “Fierce.”

She is the second member...

Swimmer earns Israel its 3rd medal at Rio Paralympics

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Swimmer Inbal Pezaro earned Israel’s third medal at the Rio Paralympic Games, which ended Sunday.

Pezaro, 29, of Kibbutz Yizrael won a bronze medal on Sep. 14, finishing third in the 200-meter freestyle. She reached the finals in all five of her individual events in Rio.

The Kibbutz Yizrael athlete became paralyzed in her lower torso in childhood. She began swimming when she was 5.

...

Aly Raisman: I’ll be back for 2020 Olympics

(JTA) — Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman said she is planning to compete in the Summer Games in Tokyo in four years.

Raisman told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday that she plans to take a break before returning to training for the 2020 Olympics.

“That’s the goal,” Raisman said. “I’m going to take off a little bit of time just because I think I need a little...

Israeli medalist’s Olympic name patch raises over $50,000 for charity

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi, a bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics, brought in $52,100 for charity in an auction for her Olympic name patch.

Twenty-two individuals placed 87 bids for the signed and dedicated patch during the weeklong auction on eBay that closed Monday. The buyer was not identified.

The proceeds will be donated to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to be used to purchase medical...

French Olympian apologizes for comparing Rio fans to Berlin games

(JTA) — A French Olympian apologized for comparing the booing he suffered at the Rio Olympics to what black American sprinter Jesse Owens went through at the 1936 Berlin games under Nazi rule.

“Yes, sorry for the bad comparaison [sic] I made,” pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie tweeted Thursday. “It was a hot reaction and I realize it was wrong. Sorry to everyone.”

Lavillenie made the comparison at a news conference...

Rio pays tribute to 11 Israeli victims of ’72 Munich Olympic massacre

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, Brazilian senior officials joined sports activists from Israel and elsewhere at a commemoration of the 11 Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.

The Israeli and Brazilian Olympic committees and members of the local Jewish community attended the event Sunday evening at Rio City Hall.

“What happened in 1972 was one of the most lamentable episodes...

Israel’s second medal in Rio comes again from judo

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – Ori Sasson of Israel won a bronze medal in the men’s judo over-100 kg. competition.

Sasson gave the Israeli delegation its second medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, both bronze in judo, with his victory over Alex Garcia Mendoza of Cuba last Friday night.

It is the first time Israel has claimed two Olympic medals since 2004.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Sasson by...