THE ISRAELI delegation to upcoming the Rio Olympics poses with President Reuven Rivlin at his residence in Jerusalem yesterday..
(photo credit: JACK BROOK)
With just over three weeks until the Olympics begin, athletes are officially coming together.
The largest-ever Israeli Olympic delegation, totaling 47 athletes, stayed at the Kfar Maccabiah complex in Ramat Gan on Tuesday and its members got to know one another a little better while receiving information about the Games.
Ilana Kratysh, a wrestler, said a lot of them were already friends and had trained together in preparation for the largest sporting event the world has to offer.
She said it was nice to get to spend time with them all.
“It’s my family here,” she said.
“We always have lots of projects together, meeting and I kind of feel like I grew up, Israel’s a small country. It’s easy to know everybody.”
Golan Pollack, who will compete in Judo, said he was trying to stay focused on training as other delegates yelled in his direction in Hebrew while laughing.
“I start to think just about the competition, not all the other things around me,” he said.
“They don’t like that we’re doing the interviews, they want to us be focused on the competition.”
On Wednesday, the group of Olympians joined the Paralympic delegation at President Reuven Rivlin’s residence in Jerusalem.
As always, Israel will carry a little more motivation: On Wednesday morning, the delegation participated in a ceremony in Tel Aviv honoring the Israelis murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Two members of the Israeli team – gymnast Neta Rivkin, who will be Israel’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, and wind-surfer Shahar Tzuberi – laid a wreath at a memorial monument during the ceremony in Tel Aviv that was also attended by relatives of those killed.
“This is a happy day to see the delegation here,” said Ilana Romano, the widow of weightlifter Yossef Romano. “You are proving to the entire world that we will continue to take part in the Olympics and that you will continue the legacy of the 11 murdered in Munich for all eternity.”
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