The Jewish connection to the Olympic Games is as old as the modern Olympics movement. Unfortunately, some of the connections are tragic, like the murder of 11 members of Israel’s team at the Munich Games in 1972.
Last week The Jewish Week looked at some largely unknown parts of Olympic Jewish history. This week, the Olympics and the Holocaust.
In Olympic years, some People of the Book become people of the backstroke, the clean-and-jerk, and the high hurdles.
The Games, Summer and Winter, serve as a showcase for the best athletes, Jewish and non-Jewish. From A (Ruth Abeles) to Z (Eli Zuckerman), names like Mark Spitz and Kerry Strug are in the record books as well as Jewish history texts.
Beginning with 10 medals won by Jewish athletes at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, Jews have been a steady presence at the international competition.
Yossi Goldberg played soccer and basketball as a boy growing up in Israel, but figure skating was in his blood — his mother was a figure skater in Lithuania.
That, says Goldberg, founder and president of the Israeli Figure Skating Association, is why he has devoted a dozen years to a winter sport in a Mediterranean country.
There was mixed news for Benjamin Rubin, a Sabbath-observant hockey player in Canada’s top development league, at the end of his first season the other day.
In a post-season talk with owner-coach Patrick Roy of the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Rubin, 18, heard that he is one of the team’s “most talented players.”
The social hall of the Queens Jewish Center, an Orthodox congregation in Forest Hills, will be filled with football fans watching the Super Bowl Sunday evening. But only one will be wearing a Super Bowl ring — Alan Veingrad earned it as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, who won the 1993 National Football League championship.