Representing Israel with pride

US-born track star Donald Sanford gifts his recent medal to ‘the State of Israel and its citizens, mainly its soldiers.’

August 21, 2014 10:10
US-born track star Donald Sanford

‘Israel is really diverse...They really made me feel welcome and treated me as if I was born here,’ said Sanford.. (photo credit: JAMES MARGOLIS)

It should hardly come as a surprise that many foreign athletes who switch allegiances to represent Israel are almost immediately welcomed with suspicion.

Take American Jillian Schwartz, for example. She received Israeli citizenship thanks to the Law of Return, and went on to represent the country at the London Olympics two years ago (despite spending no more than several weeks in Israel). Shortly afterward, Schwartz returned to the States as if she was never even part of the blue-and-white delegation.


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