Jewish Journal

Top ten reasons for Israel’s poor Olympic performance

by Brad A. Greenberg

August 19, 2008 | 8:21 pm

American Jews have had a much better showing at the Olympics than those shlemiels from Israel. (No offense. Some of my best friends are Israelis ...) They’ve yet to medal in Beijing, and Ha’aretz thought such ineptness warranted recapping their Olympians’ top-ten excuses. Here are the top five:

5) Alexandr Shatilov, gymnastics:
“This is the first time I’ve fallen like that.”

4) Alex Ashkenazi, judoka Gal Yekutiel’s coach:
“Gal had a mental problem. Even if he had made the quarterfinal he would have only taken fifth place. It’s not the first time he’s lost the battle for the bronze.”

3) Niki Palli, high jump:
“After I hit 2.20, my leg suddenly started to hurt.”

2) Guy Starik, shooting:
“Right as I was shooting a gust of wind came. I knew right away it would be ninth place. What can you do?”

1) Sergei Weisbrod, Shatilov’s coach:
“It’s all politics. It’s because of the Korean judge - he wants the Asian guy in the final.”

They may not know how to lose graciously, but that’s not entirely the athletes’ fault. Israel’s not really a country that believes it can afford to lose.

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