Sporting heroes for 60 years: No. 47 Yoel Sela and Eldad Amir

Sometimes Jewish tradition overrides Israel's sporting necessities.

By JEREMY LAST
March 17, 2008 13:33

 
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Sometimes, although admittedly rarely, Jewish tradition overrides Israel's sporting necessities. One of the strongest examples came in the summer of 1988 when sailors Yoel Sela and Eldad Amir were practically forced to forfeit a virtually guaranteed Olympic medal because the second of their Flying Dutchman class races in Seoul fell on Yom Kippur - the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. According to reports, Israeli officials made it clear to the pair that they would be sent home if they competed on that day, and subsequently they ended the event in fourth position. Sela and Amir had finished eighth in Los Angeles four years earlier and continued to compete on the world stage. In 1990 they came fifth in the World Championships and at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games they finished in 20th place. Tomorrow: A sharpshooter who became one of the best in Europe

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