The 2016 Olympics have begun in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and they have already been filled with all sorts of stories surrounding Israel in the opening few days.

In case you missed them, here are some of the main stories:

Bronze for Gerbi!

Israel won their first Olympic medal since 2008, and their 8th Olympic medal ever, when judo competitor Yarden Gerbi won bronze in the Women’s half middleweight.


After handshake snub, another bronze for Israel!

When Or Sasson beat his opponent in the judo competition, Egyptian Islam El Shehaby, he approached his competitor for the traditional handshake and bow. However, El Shehaby refused to shake the Israeli’s hand, and only bowed after being called back by the Olympic adjudicator.

Sasson then went on in the competition to claim the bronze medal, Israel’s second of the Olympics – Mazaltov!!!

The two medalists then received a hero’s welcome on their return to Israel at Ben Gurion Airport:

Memorial for Munich terror victims

At the last Olympics in London 4 years ago, there was an unsuccessful attempt to get the IOC to finally recognize the 11 Israelis murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972 with an official ceremony.

This year, however, the Olympics finally featured an official memorial to the Israelis murdered by terrorists, 44 years after the attack.

Lebanese refuse to travel with Israelis to opening ceremony

On the eve of the opening ceremony, the Israeli delegation were told by the organizers to board a bus to the ceremony. The bus already contained the delegation from Lebanon. As soon as they saw the Israelis approaching the bus, they told the driver to close the door and not allow the Israelis to enter.

Although the bus driver did open the door, the head of the Lebanese delegation physically prevented the Israelis from entering the bus. In order to avoid an international incident, the organizers were forced to make other arrangements.

The coach for the Israeli sailing team, Udi Gal, wrote a Facebook post describing the incident:

Following the incident, Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev furiously denounced the behavior as “anti-Semitism” and the “worst kind of racism”.

Saudi apparently forfeits to avoid Israeli

In another serious incident, it appears that Saudi judo competitor Joud Fahmy forfeited her match against Christianne Legentil so that she wouldn’t have to face Israeli Gili Cohen in the following round.

It is not the first time this tactic has been used – only a couple of months ago a Syrian boxer pulled out of the world championships to avoid an Israeli competitor.

Although the Saudis claim she couldn’t compete due to injury, Israeli Channel 2 reports that she simply dropped out to avoid the Israeli. Cohen subsequently lost to Legentil who proceeded automatically in the next round.

Uri Silberman described this incident in an interesting way on this Facebook post:

Write a comment:

Your email address will not be published.

© 2024 World Mizrachi

Follow us: