In the same vein as Sport and Culture Minister Limor Livnat sought to
cheer up judoka Arik Zeevi, President Shimon Peres called Zeevi on
Thursday to console him on missing out on an Olympic medal.
Peres, who experienced more than a few hard knocks in his long
political career, told Zeevi: "Arik don't let your spirits sag. People who win sometimes have to take a heavy blow." Peres emphasized how much pride and honor Zeevi had brought to Israel in the past and added that the true test was not to give in to depression.
Referring to the match in which Zeevi had been defeated, Peres said: "These things happen in life. I understood that it happened in a split second of loss of focus. But take care of yourself. Look after your dignity. We're all proud of you. Don’t give up. Stay strong."
Peres encouraged Zeevi to teach youngsters all that he knows about
judo, so that they could be champions just as he has been. "There are
still a lot of positions for you to fill," Peres told Zeevi.