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September 16, 1988 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-09-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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44

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1988

U.S. Jewish Olympians
Are All Set For Seoul

HARLAN ABBEY

Special to the Jewish News

A

mong the American
Jewish athletes who
will compete in the
Olympic Games in Seoul,
South Korea, are one gold and
one silver medal-winner from
the 1984 games in Los
Angeles as well as one of the
world's top-ranked tennis
players.
The 24th Olympiad begins
Saturday and runs through
Oct. 2. It will be the first sum-
mer games not marred by a
major boycott since 1972. The
United States, one of 161
countries competing, will
send a delegation of about
650 athletes to Seoul.
Swimmer Dara Ibrres won
a gold in the 400 meter
freestyle relay in Los Angeles
and will try to repeat her suc-
cess in that same event in
Seoul. Torres was ranked
number one in the world in
the 50. and 100 meter
freestyle events, based on
times she posted last winter
and spring. But she did not
qualify for those events at the
U.S. Olympic Trials.
The five-foot-11 Californian
moved east after the 1984
games to attend the Univer-
sity of Florida. At Florida, "I
foil/id that the hard workouts
have helped me reach my
potential, but have also
helped me become more
disciplined out of the water,"
says Torres. "I'm sort of a
hyper kid who doesn't like to
sit still for too long. But I've
learned to apply myself in the
classroom as well as the pool."
The All-American swimmer
hopes to become a television
sportscaster.
Torres joined the Mission
Bay swim club at age 8 and
was nationally ranked at 11.
The only problem with her
heavy swimming schedule,
she says, "was that the travel-
ing and workouts didn't allow
any time for a religious
education after regular school
classes."
1984 silver medalist Bob
Berland and Paul Cohen are
on the U.S. judo team, while
Paul's brother Irwin is an
assistant coach. "There's not
a lot of Jews in judo, but those
of us that are in it are pretty
good," says Paul Cohen.
Irwin was on the 1972
Olympic team. He taught
Paul, who was national mid-
dleweight champion at 172
pounds for six straight years
and a Maccabiah Games gold
medalist in 1973 and 1977.
Paul retired soon after failing

Dara Torres

Ken Flax

to make the 1976 Olympic
team, then returned four
years ago, more than 30
pounds heavier. "My wife,
Lynn, is a great cook," he ex-
plains. "Now I'm competing
at over 209 pounds. I'll weigh
about 255 in Seoul."
The Cohen brothers got in-
to judo because, "My father
wanted us to have a positive
mental attitude and he
thought an individual contact
sport would help," says Paul.
"We lived in an all-Jewish
neighborhood, so it wasn't so
we could defend ourselves. We
started when I was 5, and we
both took to it pretty well, ob-
viously."
The Cohens taught Ber-
land, who won a national
championship at age 10 as
well as team and individual
Maccabiah golds in 1981.
Berland and Paul Cohen are
both commodities clerks in
the Chicago Mercantile
Exchange.
Paul Cohen says the Olym-
pics will probably be his last
major competition. "Com-
peting at a world-class level is
quite taxing on your family.
Before, I would be out of the
country for a week at a time.
Now it's five weeks. I want to
spend more time with my

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