Jewish Journal


August 21, 2008

Israel finally medals, but it’s not in Beijing


Windsurfer Shahar Zubari

Windsurfer Shahar Zubari

BEIJING (JTA) -- Not surprisingly, Israel's first medal of the Beijing Olympics was not won in Beijing, but rather in Qingdao, where the Sailing competition is being held.

In recent days, many Israelis in China have flocked to Qingdao in hopes of seeing better results than they had in Beijing.

Shahar Zubari was able to clinch the bronze after finishing second in the the RS:X (Windsurfer) medal race on Wednesday, August 20. China was so excited for Israel, the official Xinhua news service even wrote a story about Olmert calling to congratulate Zubari.

Quotes from bronze medalist Shahar Zubari from the Olympic News Service:

"I feel so happy. I'm only 20 and I feel like a superstar, with all the media paying attention to me. I even painted my nails especially for this event."
(At least his parents are trying to keep his feet on the ground, according to this Haaretz profile, where his mother Vered says, "It has always been and continues to be important to us to not let success get to his head.")

As for his Wednesday night celebration plans:

“I’m going to get drunk.”

Video coverage here.

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