Jerusalem, Israel - President Reuven Rivlin hosted the Israeli Olympic and Paralympic delegations before their departure for the postponed Tokyo summer games. The two delegations participated in the traditional reception and photograph on Wednesday, June 23/ 13 Tammuz, at Beit HaNasi in Jerusalem, Israel.
The Olympic and Paralympic delegations, larger than in the past, including sportsmen and women, trainers and team members, Minister of Sport and Culture Chili Tropper, chair of the Israeli Olympic Committee Yigal Carmi, chair of the Israeli Paralympic Committee Dr. Shuki Dekel, and two widows of the victims of the Munich Olympic massacre, Ilana Romano, wife of Yossef Romano ז"ל and Ankie Spitzer, wife of Andre Spitzer ז"ל participated in the event with the Ambassador from Japan in attendance.
From the president’s remarks:
“Members of the Olympic and Paralympic delegations, over the last four years you have worked so hard to the moment that is approaching. You are the very few who have managed to get so high. To be the emissaries of our country at the greatest, oldest, and most important of international sporting competitions. That fact is worth a thousand testimonies to the times when you didn’t give up on yourselves. To all the times that you pushed your ability, again and again, to the brink of pain, despite the tiredness, despite the exhaustion, despite the doubts that are always lurking in our hearts.”
“You prepared magnificently. Now, it’s your turn to reap the fruits and the glory. To go faster, higher, stronger, more beautifully. I see you here, ready but relaxed, prepared to face any challenge. We believe in you. We know you can do it.”
“You sportsmen and sportswomen, who represent the diversity of Israeli society, are testimony to the fact that the determination that courses through you crosses all sectors and groups. Your commitment, your energy, and your constant aspiration to excel prove that you are the best people to represent the State of Israel in international sport and for that, I say kol hakavod, way to go!”
“I would like to send special blessings to the Paralympic delegation. We all understand that sporting competition along with serious disability is far more demanding and challenging. You prove that with determination and hard work it is possible to reach amazing, incredible sporting success to beat barriers. For us, you are role models.”
Enlarged black and white photographs of atheltes were placed near the entrance of Beit Hanasi. Two of the players from the Israeli baseball team, participating for the first time in the Olympics, were present and posed near the group photo which was taken in the Machane Yehudah Market.