LOS ANGELES (Jul. 17)
Many distinguished passengers have flown with El Al during the first month of direct flights to and from Los Angeles. Topping the passenger list for the fifth flight, yesterday, were members of Israel’s Olympic team.
After a good night’s rest, they were welcomed officially today by representatives of the international Olympic Committee, the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, and the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles. Heading the local delegation were Jacob Even, Israel’s Consul General for the West Coast, and Yoram Ben Zeev, liaison consul to the local community.
The entourage of 56 includes 38 athletes, 12 coaches and 6 officials. Samuel Lalkin is chief of mission. Uri Afek, of the Ministry of Education, is deputy chief. Some of the athletes have been in the United States for several months, training with coaches at colleges and sports clubs. They joined their teammates at the Olympic Village yesterday.
Israel is not represented in any of the team sports-men’s or women’s basketball, field hockey, team handball, soccer, volleyball or water polo. Of the 33 competing in 10 of the other 16 sports, very few have the possibility of winning medals. Israel is among 120 countries which did not win a medal from 1960 to 1980.
SECURITY WILL BE THE WATCHWORD
Although security will be the watchword during their stay in the U.S. members of the team will enjoy visits to the usual tourist attractions, Ben Zeev said. They will also participate in five or six major community events, scheduled so as not to interfere with training, so that members of the local community can meet the standard bearers of Israel on the fields of sport.
Visiting southern California and meeting relatives and friends is not reason enough to send a team to the Olympics, Ben Zeev said. It is estimated that the 25 nations which won medals from 1960 to 1980 committed an average of $2 million for each medal won. Israel has invested approximately $1 million on its entire program from 1980 to 1984.
Israel spread such comparatively small sums on a dozen or more sports in order to give world-class opportunities to as many athletes as possible, Ben Zeev noted. It is hoped that in the future such participation will result in more attention paid to the Olympic sports so that Israel can enter the ranks of medal-winning nations.
In order to maintain security and to interfere as little as possible with training schedules, all appearances of Israeli team members are being coordinated through the Israeli Consulate. Most events will require advance registration, and will not be open to “walk-ins”.
OLYMPIC TEAM MEMBERS
Members of the Israeli Olympic team are:
YACHTING: Eldad Amir, Yehuda Atedji, Shimshon Broman, Eitan Fridlander, Yoel Sela.
TRACK and FIELD: Yitzhak Ben-Molech, Mark Handelsman, Maya Bentzur, Arye Gamliel, Sabag Shemtov, Yehuda Zadok.
FENCING: Nilli Drori, Shlomo Eyal, Moshe Chumut, Haim Hatoel, Lydia Hatoel, Itzhak Hatoel.
BOXING: Yehuda Ben Haim, Shlomo Niazov.
SHOOTING: Yair Davidovitz, Itzchak Yonassi, Gary Aramist.
WEIGHTLIFTING: Meir Daloya
GYMNASTICS: Nancy Goldsmith, Liat Haninovits, Yohanan Moyal, Limor Fridman, Yaacov Levy.
SWIMMING: Yoram Kochavy, Hadar Rubinstein, Eyal Shtigman, Yaron Eilati.
JUDO: Eddy Koaz, Yona Melnik, Moshe Ponte.
CANOEING: Aviram Mizrahi
ATHLETICS: Zehava Shmuel
TENNIS: Amos Manddorf