This Friday night the Olympics opening ceremonies will officially launch the 2016 Games in Rio. The Israeli team boasts 47 athletes competing in 17 sports, making it the largest team the Holy Land has sent to the Olympics.
Among them are golfer Laetitia Beck, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor; Lonah Chemtai, a Kenyan-born marathoner; and Ron Darmon, the first triathlete to represent Israel at the Olympic Games.
Israelis and Jews around the world are expected to show their support for the team, which failed to medal in 2012 when the Israeli delegation numbered 37. Some 10,000 Israeli tourists are expected to attend the Games — they will join Rio’s nearly 40,000-strong Jewish community, along with other Jewish supporters from across Brazil and around the world.
“We are a small team compared to other countries, but we have quality and are determined,” Israeli Olympic Committee President Igal Carmi told the delegation during a meeting in Jerusalem at Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s residence on July 13 before departing to Brazil. “I am very proud of the Israeli team. We are ready to compete at the highest levels.”
Go Team Israel! Be sure to check back with the Bridge blog for updates on the Israeli team.