MKs blame gov't for Israel’s 'failure' at Olympics

‘Building a champion requires long-term investment, but that’s not in Finance Ministry’s DNA,’ says Kadima's Tirosh.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 8, 2012 02:45
1 minute read.
Lee Korzits at London Games

Lee Korzits 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The government is responsible for Israel’s apparent failure to win a medal at the Summer Olympics for the first time since the 1988 Seoul Games, Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh said Tuesday after windsurfer Lee Korzits ended Israel’s last hope for a medal.

Tirosh, who chairs the Knesset’s Lobby for the Promotion of Sports in Israel, is a former director-general of the Education, Culture and Sports Ministry. She said Israel needed to invest in athletes from a young age like the Soviet Union did.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“Our current approach doesn’t work,” Tirosh said. “In Israeli society, we like to take shortcuts, but Olympic success requires a long-term investment. The leaders of our country have not realized the importance of building up our future Olympic winners from the bottom up. Bibi [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] started investing but too little too late. The work is Sisyphean but in the end it leads to a medal.”

Tirosh said it was unacceptable that Israel’s athletes and trainers need to acquire day jobs in teaching and other professions to get by. She said they should be able to work full-time on sports.

“Unfortunately such long-term investments are not in the DNA of the Finance Ministry,” Tirosh said.

Click for full JPost coverage

“They need to realize that building an Olympic champion is in our national interest. Medal winners are our top ambassadors in the world.”



Kadima MK Marina Solodkin said the government missed out on a chance to develop new sportsmen among immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, and their children. She said Ethiopian immigrants have natural skills in running and Russian immigrants at gymnastics.

“We have talented people but we have not invested enough,” Solodkin said.

“The problem is that it has not been made a priority of the government.

If we would invest more in our athletes, I am sure we would have more medals.”

Likud MK Ofir Akunas, who heads the party’s response team, called the Kadima MKs’ charges “completely ridiculous.”

A spokesman for Education, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat said there was no financial problem at all for the Olympians and that a record amount was invested in this year’s Games, some NIS 80 million.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD