ROME (Sep. 12)
The Israel delegation of 18 athletes to the 1960 Olympics is returning home “convinced that we have carried Israel’s name with honor and fulfilled our mission, ” Shalom Zysman, Deputy Mayor of Rarnat Gan and chairman of the Maccabi organization, declared today in a farewell message.
He said on behalf of the Israeli athletes that during their stay in Rome there had been “days of tension and expectations, of enthusiasm and happiness and of regret and pain. There were also days of Jewish national elation, of accumulating experiences and of drawing conclusions. “
Asserting that the delegates had met the most important policy-makers in the sports. world during the Rome stay, he said they had also been received by President Gronchi and by Pope John XXIII and by most of the resident Ambassadors in Rome.
“We collected experiences and learned how far Israel sports were from European standards, ” he stated. Israel, he said, was represented not only on the playing fields but also in the piazzas and on the Olympics-bedecked streets, and he recalled that the Israel flag flew and the Israel national anthem was heard to an ovation at the ceremonies which opened the Olympics.
The Maccabi official asserted that the Israeli athletes “did an excellent Job by breaking Israeli records. Some of our girls did not break any records, causing us disappointment. Our cyclists disappointed us but the performance must be seen in overall perspective, ” He noted that out of the 85 delegations, only 15 received gold medals and 14 silver or bronze medals and that the Israel basketball squad took eighth place.