Jewish athletes were this week celebrating winning medals at the Sochi Winter Olympics, helping America and Canada to silver and bronze success.
American figure skaters Jason Brown and Charlie White were part of a team of eight who saw Team USA win bronze, while Dylan Moscovitch won silver with the Canadian national team in the same event.
Delighted with his win, Brown said: “I don’t even know where to begin. The team event was absolutely incredible! From start to finish, the excitement just continued to build and I am so honoured to be a part of this team, and to have represented team USA in the first ever figure skating team event! I’m so proud of my teammates and the performances they put out!
“I’ve looked up to these seven athletes for years. They’ve been huge inspirations to me, so standing on that medal stand tonight, alongside them was truly special, it’s a moment I will never forget and sharing it with these seven unbelievable athletes was beyond a dream come true. We will always be Olympic bronze medallists together, as a team!”
Just as ecstatic with the win, White said: “What an amazing and historic moment! So lucky to be part of a team that showed courage, fortitude, and a lot of great skating! We worked really hard to earn that Olympic medal – something that will be uniting us together as family for the rest of our lives.”
Other American Jewish athletes who are in action include skier Jared Goldberg, cross-country skier Noah Hoffman and figure skater Simon Shnapir.
Israeli athletes haven’t though been as successful. And with the country still in search of their first Winter Olympics medal, short track speed skater Vladislav Bykanov came agonisingly close to qualifying for the semi-finals of the 1,500m event, missing out by 0.8 seconds. Israel’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony will though compete in the 1,000m race later on Thursday, and the 500m race on Tuesday.
Figure skaters Evgeni Krasnopolski and Andrea Davidovich did qualify for their medal race, after finishing in 15th place – out of 20 – in the short program of the event. Speaking after qualifying, Krasnopolski said: “It’s a fantastic feeling. We were very tense all day and really nervous up to the last moment. In technical terms we could have been better here and there, but the bottom line is that we reached the final and that was our main aim.” However, competing in the free skating on Wednesday afternoon, they finished the pairs’ figure skating competition in 15th place, recording a result of 94.35 in the free skate portion of the event to end with a total score of 147.73 points.
Skier Virgile Vandeput will also be in action next week when he takes part in the giant slalom next Thursday, and the slalom on 22 February.