Gould­cel­e­brates­lon­don2012

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JC RE­PORTER

BRI­TISH AM­BAS­SADOR to Is­rael, Matthew Gould, hosted Is­rael’s Olympic and Par­a­lympic del­e­ga­tions at his res­i­dence on Mon­day for a fes­tive re­cep­tion, in the pres­ence of Sports Min­is­ter Li­mor Liv­nat.

Among the Is­raeli ath­letes who came to cel­e­brate the kick-off to London 2012 were world wind­surf­ing cham­pi­ons, Lee Kurzitz and Nim­rod Mashiah, Is­rael’s syn­chro­nised swim­ming team, and par­a­lympic ath­letes.

Mr Gould said: “As am­bas­sador to Is­rael, as some­one who wants the best for Is­rael, as some­one who takes pride in Is­rael and who rep­re­sents a gov­ern­ment that de­fines it­self firmly as a friend of Is­rael, I also want to hear Hatik­vah played. It is an hon­our to be judged among the best ath­letes in the world, and to have the chance to com­pete for an Olympic gold medal. You are go­ing to a coun­try that is ready for you, wait­ing for you, and look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing you.”

Guests also in­cluded Is­rael’s mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC), Alex Gi­ladi, Yael Arad who won Is­rael’s first Olympic medal ex­actly 20 years ago, and for­mer Olym- pic swim­mer Yoav Brook.

Is­rael’s deputy for­eign min­is­ter, Danny Ayalon, has for­mally asked the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee to hon­our, with a minute’s si­lence, the Is­raeli team mem­bers killed by Pales­tinian ter­ror­ists at the 1972 Mu­nich Games.

Efraim Zinger, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of Is­rael’s Olympic Com­mit­tee, said the IOC had ig­nored his re­quest to hold an of­fi­cial me­mo­rial at the games, as it has in pre­vi­ous years. He said the Is­raeli del­e­ga­tion plans to ob­serve a pri­vate cer­e­mony, and that IOC pres­i­dent Jac­ques Rogge is ex­pected to at­tend.

Am­bas­sador Goul­dandthe syn­chro­nised swim­mers

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