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August 02, 1996 - Image 50

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-08-02

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0 pig

MEDAL page 48

nal," swimmer Yoav Bruck. "It
means a lot to us. When we
touched the wall and saw the re-
sults (of the preliminaries), we
said we could die happy."
Reaching the finals is no small
feat, said Yehoshua Dekel, di-
rector general of the Israel Sports
Authority, the country's govern-
ing athletic body. "They are one
of the eight best in the world and
that's impossible to forget."
Like Mr. Bruck, most of the
athletes — some of whom came
within points, inches or seconds
of being medalists — remained
optimistic. With their competi-
tions behind them, the only thing
left was to evaluate their scores
and cheer their delegation, hop-
ing to prove victorious when the
Olympics end Sunday.
One athlete who has enjoyed
her lofty spot in Israel's athletic
world is Yael Arad. "I did my
best," she said about her recent

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match. "I gave it everything I
could. Even though I did not win
this medal, I'm very proud of my
Ms. Arad, 29, is retiring after
20 years in athletics and she said
she was hoping to end it with a
Shooter Guy Starik made a
similar analysis of his 13th place
finish. "I shot well, but not well
enough, I guess," he lamented. "I
came close to the finals, only two
points away. I had the feeling I
could really do it."
Among the other achieve-
ments of the Israeli delegation
was Gotcha Tzitzuashvili's fifth
place in Greco-Roman wrestling.
He had advanced to the semifi-
nals, but fell out of the running
for a medal after losing two
matches. The Israeli women's
fencing team defeated the Unit-
ed States to secure a ninth place

Not Just Athletes
Go For The Gold

A virtually unknown CD-ROM company
from Herzliya hurdles into Olympic history.


thletes aren't the only Is-
raeli competitors in At-
lanta. Anyone wanting to
pick up the official 100-
year Olympic retrospective on
CD-ROM will be helping a small
Israeli developer race toward the
high-tech finish line.
Tel Aviv-based SEA, a com-
pany with no track record, op-
erating out of a small apartment
in Herzliya, passed its first hur-
dle nearly two years ago when
it snagged the exclusive world-
wide license to use the 5-ring
logo, as well as extensive
archival footage, for its Olympic
Gold CD-ROM.
How did the virtually un-
known company convince the
IOC (International Olympic
Committee) it had the right stuff
to do the Olympics proud? Sur-
prisingly, it was two young Is-
raelis who gave the idea to the
IOC in the first place.
Ze'ev Rozov, 26, SEA's co-man-
aging director, was a history stu-
dent at Tel Aviv University when
he had the idea to form a digital
sports reference company (SEA
stand for "Sports Electronic
Archiving"). And with the 100th
anniversary of the modern
Games this year, what better
sporting event to start off with
than the Olympics?
Mr. Rozov joined up with Tal
Barnoach, 32, a computer-in-
dustry executive who had been
working at Karmiel-based CDI,
Israel's largest CD-pressing fa-
cility. Along with a couple of



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silent but well-funded partners,
they contacted the Olympic Com-
mittee and told them of their
Initially, the IOC was hesitant.
It was late 1993, CD-ROM's po-
tential had not been proven, and
there were no sports CDs at all.
On top of this, the IOC is a tra-
ditionally conservative group.
But Mr. Rozov and Mr. Barnoach
kept hammering away.
Eventually, news of what they
were trying to do leaked out to
some of the Olympics' major
sponsors, including IBM and
Time Warner, and companies
thousands of times SEA's size en-
tered the bidding fray. At the end
of the day, it emerged that SEA
had the momentum and the
chutzpah to press on, producing
demo after demo, until it finally
Olympic Gold is a major tech-
nical and artistic achievement,
sporting an interactive multime-
dia database of all 16,000
Olympic medal winners of the
last 100 years. The product fea-
tures over 1,000 pages of origi-
nal, extensively linked text, 1,700
pictures, and more than an hour
of video. A hundred Olympic "leg-
ends" receive special multime-
dia biographies.
In addition, a Rule Book pre-
sents 100-plus short animated
explanations on how each sport
is performed.
Different sports get special
treatment: The badminton sec-
tion, for example, includes a


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