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July 31, 1992 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-07-31

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

ARNOLO
mazDa

Israel Judo Champion
Battles for Gold

DOES IT AGAIN!
BUY OR LEASE ANY CAR
y
0 DOWN

STEVE LIPMAN

Special to The Jewish News

MaZDa MIATA

1993

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eel Arad's name
means bronze in Heb-
rew, but she hopes it
will mean gold in Barcelona
for her homeland.
The 25-year-old Israeli na-
tive, a national judo cham-
pion at 10 and a world-class
competitor at 16, is Israel's
leading contender to win a
medal when she competes
this week at the Summer
Olympic Games in
Barcelona.
"I'm going there for one
thing — I'm going there to
win," Arad said in an inter-
view before leaving for
Barcelona.
A student at Tel Aviv Uni-
versity in nutrition, Arad
took a year off from her
studies to train full-time at
the Wingate Institute near
Netanya.
A recent string of suc-
cessful tournaments —
third-place finishes in the
1991 European and World
championships, capped by a
gold medal in the French
Open this year — have made
her a minor celebrity in her
homeland.
She was named Israeli

Steve Lipman is a staff writer
for the New York Jewish Week.

Auto., air, auise, AM-FM case., p. windows,
p. locs, p. roof, p. driv. seat, leather int.,
heated driver and pass. seats, driver
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Sportsperson of the Year in
1991 and has garnered a few
commercial endorsements.
Strangers stop her on the
street to wish her success or
offer her advice. Some give
their blessings. Reporters
call for interviews every
week, but she has stopped
speaking to the Israeli
media. "I need my head to be
clear of distractions," she
said of the demands on her
time."

Arad, who is tall and heav-
ily muscled, competes in the
under-61 kilogram (about
134 pounds) division. Her
pre-Olympic regimen in-
cluded a training camp in
Austria and competition in
Europe and Japan. She
works out six hours a day,
sparring, lifting weights,
jogging and sprinting. Arad
took up the sport at 8
"because my brothers used
to do judo. " One of her
brothers now manages her
athletic career. As a teen-
age judo champion, she lob-
bied Israel's sports au-
thorities to support the
country's fledgling judo pro-
gram.
After years of successful
competition, her short-term
goal at Barcelona is clear
—"to be the bride and not
only the bridesmaid," she
said.

.



aJ

Esther Roth Recalls
Teammates' Murders

STEVE LIPMAN

Special to The Jewish News

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Directly across the street from Arnold Lincoln-Mercury •

445-6080

56 FRIDAY JULY 31 1992

"--71fr '''"

Ma
Ir.,
tr, (71,1.4

E

sther Roth's physician
prescribed sleeping
pills for her on the
night of Sept. 5, 1972. She
was 19, a world-class
sprinter, the lone remaining
Israeli athlete left to com-
pete in the Summer Olym-
pics at Munich. She was in
her first Olympics and need-
ed her rest for upcoming
heats.
But a knocking on the door
of her dormitory room that
night, a few hours after the
Israeli team had watched a
performance of "Fiddler on
the Roof," cost Roth her
sleep — as well as a chance
for further competition.
"Something happened,"
said swimmer Shlomit Nir,
Roth's roommate. White as a
sheet, Nir broke the news
that was to become
headlines around the world
and a family tragedy in

Israel. Eight Black
September terrorists had
scaled the fence around the
Olympic Village and broken
into the building housing
the Israeli men's team, some
200 yards from Roth's dorm
building. The terrorists
killed two members of the
Israeli delegation, and con-
tinued to hold nine men
hostage, demanding the
release of 234 prisoners in
Israeli jails.

Roth and Nir were quickly
hustled to another building
in the village, where the
Israeli team was being
guarded together. Details of
the hostage-taking were
scarce. Throughout the two-
day ordeal the Israelis wat-
ched news on television and
listened on radio — a gym-
nast, fluent in German,
translated.
And they phoned anxious
relatives.
"Everyone was calling
home," Roth recalled during

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