Israel at the
Olympics
Flag of Israel.svg
IOC codeISR
NOCOlympic Committee of Israel
Websitewww.olympicsil.co.il (in Hebrew and English)
Medals
Ranked 82nd
Gold
3
Silver
1
Bronze
9
Total
13
Summer appearances
Winter appearances

Israel has competed at the Olympic Games as a nation since 1952. Its National Olympic Committee was formed in 1933, during the British Mandate of Palestine.[1] Israel has sent a team to each Summer Olympic Games since 1952 (except when they participated in the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics), and to each Winter Olympic Games since 1994. The country became a member of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in 1994.

Medal tables

See also: All-time Olympic Games medal table

Medals by summer sport

SportGoldSilverBronzeTotal
Gymnastics2002
Sailing1023
Judo0156
Canoeing0011
Taekwondo0011
Totals (5 entries)31913

List of medalists

Games Sport Event Medal Name Ref.
Spain 1992 Barcelona
Judo pictogram.svg
Judo
Women's -61 kg  Silver Yael Arad [2]
Men's -71 kg  Bronze Oren Smadja [3]
United States 1996 Atlanta
Sailing pictogram.svg
Sailing
Men's sailboard  Bronze Gal Fridman [4]
Australia 2000 Sydney
Canoeing pictogram.svg
Canoeing
Men's K-1 500 metres  Bronze Michael Kolganov [5]
Greece 2004 Athens
Sailing pictogram.svg
Sailing
Men's sailboard  Gold Gal Fridman [4]
Judo pictogram.svg
Judo
Men's -100 kg  Bronze Ariel Zeevi [6]
China 2008 Beijing
Sailing pictogram.svg
Sailing
Men's sailboard  Bronze Shahar Tzuberi [7]
Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro
Judo pictogram.svg
Judo
Women's -63 kg  Bronze Yarden Gerbi [8]
Men's +100 kg  Bronze Or Sasson [9]
Japan 2020 Tokyo
Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg
Gymnastics
Men's floor  Gold Artem Dolgopyat [10]
Gymnastics (rhythmic) pictogram.svg
Gymnastics
Women's rhythmic individual all-around  Gold Linoy Ashram [11]
Taekwondo pictogram.svg
Taekwondo
Women's -49 kg  Bronze Avishag Semberg [12]
Judo pictogram.svg
Judo
Mixed team  Bronze Israel national judo team [13]


History

See also: Jewish Olympics and Palestine at the Olympics

Israeli postal stamp, 1964
Israeli postal stamp, 1964

In 1933 the Palestine National Olympic Committee was officially formed, and was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in May 1934,[14] despite never competing (the 1936 games were held in Nazi Germany and were boycotted by this Jewish Olympic committee, while the 1940 and 1944 games were cancelled due to WWII).[1] Although the Palestine National committee represented Muslims, Jews, and Christians living in British-ruled Mandatory Palestine, its rules stated that they "represent[ed] the Jewish National Home."[1] In 1948, shortly after the State of Israel was established, its request to participate in the 1948 Olympics was denied, as Mandatory Palestine had ceased to exist and the newly formed State of Israel wasn't yet recognized by IOC.[15]

Israel was previously part of the Asian Games Federation until it was disbanded in 1981. In 1982 instead of joining the new Olympic Council of Asia, Israel opted to join the European Olympic Committees.[16]

Competing

Israel won its first Olympic medal in its tenth Olympic appearance, in 1992, in Judo when Yael Arad won a silver medal.[2] She was followed a day later by another judoka, Oren Smadja, who won bronze.[3] Since then, Israel won a bronze medal in five successive Summer Olympics until the streak ended in 2012. Additionally, in 2004, Gal Fridman became Israel's first gold medallist, in men's windsurfing.[4] This was his second medal, following his bronze in 1996,[4] and he is the only individual multi-medallist. Israel also won 2 bronze medals in 2016. In the postponed 2020 Games Israel received 2 gold medals, won by Artem Dolgopyat in men's gymnastics (floor routine), and Linoy Ashram in women's rhythmic gymnastics (individual all-around), and 2 bronze medals, one won by Avishag Semberg in taekwondo, and 1 won by the judo Mixed team. As a member of the Israel national judo Mixed team, Ori Sasson became Israel's second multi-medalist, while the latter bronze one is a shared one. Through 2018, Israel has not won any medals in the Winter Olympics.

Ágnes Keleti, who emigrated to Israel in 1957, holds more medals than any other Israeli citizen. During the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics Ágnes won 10 medals competing for Hungary at the Olympics.[17] The only Jew to hold more medals than Keleti is American swimmer Mark Spitz, who won 11.[18]

Israel has been more successful at the Paralympic Games than at the Olympics, with 375 medals between 1960 and 2016.[19]

Conflicts with nations

See also: Boycotts of Israel in sports

1972 Summer Olympics

Main article: Munich massacre

11 members of Israeli Olympic team were murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the Munich massacre.[20] The tragedy caused the Israeli delegation to withdraw from the remainder of the Games.

The murdered people were:

On 3 August 2016, two days prior to the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee officially honored the Israelis killed for the first time.[21] They were also honored during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

1980 Summer Olympics

Israel was one of the countries that boycotted the Moscow Olympics in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but also because of Soviet opposition to Israel and Zionism.[22]

2004 Summer Olympics

An Iranian judoka, Arash Miresmaeili, did not compete in a match against Israeli Ehud Vaks during the 2004 Summer Olympics, due to the government of Iran having taken steps to avoid any competition between its athletes and those from Israel. He was officially disqualified for being overweight, however Miresmaeli was awarded US$125,000 in prize money by the Iranian government, an amount paid to all Iranian gold medal winners. The International Judo Federation conducted an investigation to see if he intentionally came in overweight in order to miss the bout. He was officially cleared of intentionally avoiding the bout, but his receipt of the prize money raised suspicion.[23]

2016 Summer Olympics

Israeli judoka Ori Sasson
Israeli judoka Ori Sasson

Saudi Arabian judoka, Joud Fahmy, forfeited her match in the 2016 Summer Olympics possibly in order to avoid competing against Israeli Gili Cohen.[24] Later in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Israeli Or Sasson defeated Egyptian judoka Islam El Shahaby in the first round, after the match ended, Sasson tried to shake his opponent's hand, but El Shahaby refused.[25]

Prior to the 2016 opening ceremony, the Lebanese delegation was assigned to ride on the same bus as the Israeli delegation.[26] The head of the Lebanese team, Salim al-Haj Nicolas, admitted that he demanded that the bus door be closed on the Israeli team, and that the Lebanese demanded that the Israeli athletes not board the bus. Udi Gal, an Israeli Olympic sailor, said his team ultimately decided to travel separately to avoid an "international and physical incident" but added "How could they let this happen on the eve of the Olympic Games? Isn't this the opposite of what the Olympics represents?"[27]

Olympic participants

Summer Olympics

Sport 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 Total
Archery 1 1
Athletics 7 1 8 5 2 2 1 7 4 4 9 5 4 3 8 9 79
Badminton 1 1 2 4
Baseball 24 24
Basketball 13 13
Boxing 2 3 1 6
Canoeing/Kayaking 1 1 5 3 1 11
Cycling 2 2 2 6
Diving 1 1 2
Equestrian 4 4
Fencing 2 2 1 4 1 3 1 1 3 18
Football 19 17 36
Golf 1 1
Gymnastics 3 1 5 3 1 1 2 8 10 7 10 51
Judo 1 2 4 2 3 5 3 5 7 12 50
Sailing 2 1 5 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 6 5 59
Shooting 4 2 3 4 2 1 2 3 3 2 2 3 1 1 1 34
Surfing 1 1
Swimming 1 1 4 2 6 1 2 3 1 5 4 11 4 9 7 9 13 83
Synchronized swimming 2 2 2 6
Table tennis 1 1
Taekwondo 1 1 1 1 4
Tennis 1 4 1 2 4 3 1 16
Triathlon 1 2 3
Weightlifting 2 3 1 1 3 1 1 1 13
Wrestling 3 1 2 4 1 3 3 1 18
Total 26 3 23 10 31 15 27 37 19 31 25 41 35 43 37 47 90 540

Winter Olympics

Sport 1994 1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018 2022 Total
Alpine Skiing 1 1 1 1 2 6
Figure Skating 1 3 4 4 2 3 7 3 27
Short Track Speed Skating 1 1 1 1 4
Skeleton 1 1
Total 1 3 5 5 3 5 10 6 38

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (11 August 2011). Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement. ISBN 9780810875227.
  2. ^ a b "Yael Arad, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com.
  3. ^ a b "Shay-Oren Smadja, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com.
  4. ^ a b c d "Gal Fridman". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-14.
  5. ^ "Michael Kolganov". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03.
  6. ^ "Ariel Zeevi, Judoka, JudoInside". judoinside.com.
  7. ^ "BBC SPORT - Olympics - Sailing - Dempsey misses windsurfing medal". bbc.co.uk. 20 August 2008.
  8. ^ "Yarden Gerbi wins bronze medal in judo, Israel's first medal of the Rio Olympics - Sports". Haaretz.com.
  9. ^ "Or Sassson wins Israel's second judo bronze at Rio Games". Times of Israel.
  10. ^ Aharoni, Oren (1 August 2021). "Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat claims gold at Tokyo Games". Ynet.
  11. ^ Halickman, Joshua; Zonshine, Idan (7 August 2021). "Olympics: Rhythmic Gymnast Linoy Ashram wins gold medal for Israel". The Jerusalem Post.
  12. ^ "Olympics: Israeli Avishag Semberg wins bronze in taekwondo". The Jerusalem Post. 25 July 2021.
  13. ^ Katzir, Itamar (31 July 2021). "Israeli Mixed Judo Team Wins Bronze, Defeating Russia 4-1 at Tokyo Olympics". Haaretz.
  14. ^ Galily, Yair; Ben-Porat, Amir (31 October 2013). Sport, Politics and Society in the Land of Israel. ISBN 9781317967910.
  15. ^ Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (2011-08-11). Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7522-7.
  16. ^ "Israel". eurolympic.org. Archived from the original on 2014-04-15.
  17. ^ AGNES KELETI (KLEIN)
  18. ^ MARK SPITZ
  19. ^ "Israel". paralympic.org.
  20. ^ Aubrey, Stefan M. (2004). The New Dimension of International Terrorism. ISBN 9783728129499.
  21. ^ First official Olympic ceremony held in memory of Munich victims
  22. ^ TIMELINE: Jews in the Summer Olympics
  23. ^ "BBC NEWS - Europe - Mystery over Iran judo 'protest'". bbc.co.uk. 15 August 2004.
  24. ^ Saudi judoka forfeits Rio match, apparently to avoid Israeli
  25. ^ Rio Olympics 2016 - Egypt Judo Fighter El Shehabt refuses to shake hands of Israeli Or Sasson
  26. ^ Israel protests after Lebanese athletes refuse to share Olympic bus
  27. ^ Rio 2016 Olympics: Lebanese athletes refuse to travel with Israel team