Olympic C’tee launches International Forum

Project headed by London businessman Yinon Craze aims to encourage greater financial support for Olympic team.

By JACOB BATIST
June 2, 2010 08:38
1 minute read.
Israel's Alexandra Zaretsky carries the flag durin

israel olympics 311. (photo credit: AP)

The Olympic Committee of Israel announced plans for a revolutionary new project on Tuesday aimed at encouraging greater financial support for the Olympic team.

The International Olympic Forum is to be headed by London-based Israeli businessman Ynon Kreiz, who will work with the Israeli embassy in the British capital ahead of the 2012 Games to be held in the city.

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OCI Chairman Zvi Varshaviak said the body plans to create international forums comprised of influential business leaders  to coordinate with the Israeli community in the host city in the years leading up to each summer Olympic Games.

The forum’s ambitions are to garner the financing necessary for better preparation of Israeli Olympic athletes in order to promote the image of Israel on the world stage.

“This is a body that will deal with raising financial resources for the benefit of the OCI to establish the economic anchor of the Committee, with the aim of promoting the Olympic athletes in the coming years,” explained Varshaviak.

Kreiz hopes he can make a real impact in London.

“[It is] clear to us how important it is to create a positive image of the State of Israel, and there is nothing like sports to bridge cultures and to reach as many people in the world,” he said.

“[The] London 2012 Games will be one of the biggest events of the decade, and [have] created a unique opportunity for us on the global stage.”

While eagerness for financial stability is the first step in sustaining this new forum, Kreiz and the OCI see this project being propelled and sustained by the next generation of Israeli athletes through the creation of a greater sports infrastructure.

“Our main objectives are to promote the image of Israeli athletes, strengthen ties between the sports world and the Jewish communities worldwide, provide economic stability, and nurture the Olympic Committee’s new generation of young athletes,” Kreiz added.

Together with the main panel, several past and present Israeli Olympic athletes, including bronze-medal winning windsurfer Shahar Tzuberi and judo star Yael Arad attended Tuesday’s event.


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