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August 24, 2012

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST -24, 2012 PAGE 15A By JTA Staff (JTA) The London Olympics may have "lit up the world," as organizing committee head Sebastian Coe put it, but for Jews the 2 1/2 weeks offered healthy doses of frustration and glory. On the plus side, new medalists such as America's Aly Raisman gained the spotlight with her grace, which included a floor routine to "Hava Nagila" .en route to a U.S. women's team gold in gymnastics. She followed that with an individual gold for floor exercise and a bronze on the balance beam. Meanwhile, New Zea- land's Jo Aleh brought home a gold for Kiwi fans in women's 470 regatta and Australian kayaker Jessica Fox won a silver medal in the slalom K1. They joined in their glory with previ- ous medalists such as U.S. swimmer Jason Lezak, who helped his relay team win a silver in the 4xl00-meter freestyle in what was likely the last of his four Olympics. Yet the Games' opening ceremony ended hopes that the International Olympic Committee would officially Christopher Johnson via CC Israeli-American men's basketball coach David Blatt led the Russinn national team to the bronze medal at the 2012 London utympic Games. national squad since being brought in as head coach in 2006, Sports Illustrated reported. He took the team to a 2007 European Cham- pionship. He played for Princeton University from 1977 to 1981 and on the gold medal- recognize with a momentwinning U.S. team in the of silence the 11 Israeli 1981 Maccabiah Games. athletes murdered 40 years Following the Maccabiah ago at the Munich GamesGames, Blatt played for by Palestinian terrorists. An several Israeli teams until international campaign for he was injured in 1993 and amomentofsilencehadthe took up coaching. supportofPresidentObamaThe disappointment in and numerous other world Israel over the lack of a ha- leaders. And Israel's athletes-- for the first time in 24 years--went home without a single medal, which has prompted conversation about the country's lack of commitment to Olympics excellence. Israel's rhyth- mic gymnastics team made tional delegation medal may be behind what Yuli Edel- stein, minister of Diaspora affairs, told Raisman two weeks ago as she accepted his invitation for the Rais- man family to be his guests in Israel. Beating her to the Jewish state, however, will be Aleh. it to the finals, but on Aug. 12 it finished last among the eight teams in the all- around group competition. Two Israeli citizens, how- ever, are coming home with some Olympic glory. David Blatt, an American-Israeli, coached Russia's bronze- winning men's basketball team and Aleh will soon make a family visit to the Jewish state. Blatt, the coach of Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv team, has helped rebuild the Russian After a parade back home to celebrate New Zealand's suc- cess at the London Games, she reportedly is heading to Israel for the bat mitzvah of her half-sister. The greatest disappoint- ment of the Games for many Jews, however, was the failure of the international cam- paign to have the Munich 11 remembered. It included a petition launched by the Rockland JCC in suburban New York that garnered near ly 111,000 names, a private meeting with two Munich 11 widows and IOC Presi- dent Jacques Rogge. and the backing of President Obama and po tica eaders from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy and elsewhere. One widow of the Munich 11 had biting words for Rogge when he attended the London Jewish com- munity's memorial for the murdered athletes and coaches. "Shame on you. IOC." said Ankie Spitzer. widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer, who died in the attack. "You have forsaken the 11 members of your Olympic family. You discriminate against them only because they are Israelis and Jews." Meanwhile, the Arab- Israeli conflict was felt when the Lebanese judo team refused to even practice in a gymnasium next to the Israelis. The Lebanese even erected a makeshift barrier to split their gym into two halves, according to the Times of Israel. Also, Iranianjudoka Javad Mahjoob withdrew from the Games, citing "critical digestive system infection," according to the Wash- ington Post. The report speculated that Iran was maintaining a longstanding policy of not allowing its athletes to compete against Israelis. Bet Come see what is new at CONGREGATION BET CHAIM It is our pleasure to invite you to worship with us during the HIGH HOLY DAYS, and at periodic Shabbats, Officiating in the New Year 5773 with our new Spiritual Leader KAREN BRAUNSTEIN, M.S.M. 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