After 16 years at the helm, Zvi Varshaviak announced on Monday that he will be
stepping down as the president of the Olympic Committee of Israel.
74-year-old has held the position almost consecutively since 1996, but will make
way for his successor next month, with Igal Carmi and Arye Zaif the early
favorites, while former Israel Yachting Association chairman, Yehuda Ma’ayan,
has also announced his intention to run for one of the top jobs in Israeli
“I inherited an Olympic Committee which was worthless,” said a
proud Varshaviak at a press conference at OCI headquarters in Hadar Yosef on
“Today we have organized institutions, wonderful staff, good
athletes and money.
Therefore I will end my reign as chairman on February
Varshaviak pinpointed the lack of active athletes in Israel as the
main problem in local sports.
“We have 71,000 active athletes in the
country and half of them are soccer and basketball players,” he said. “If we
want to record achievements we need to prepare an infrastructure for sports so
that around 10 percent of the population will be active athletes.”