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Van-Jew-ver Readies for Games

Israel is sending three to the Winter Olympics

by
Marc Tracy
February 02, 2010
The new Olympic rink in downtown Vancouver.(Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
The new Olympic rink in downtown Vancouver.(Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

We had never thought of it this way, but JTA’s reporter correctly notes that Vancouver, Canada, is “the most Jewishly active city ever to host the Winter Olympics.” The town, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, is home to upwards of 30,000 Jews, who will be represented in the Olympic Village (actually, both of them: one in Vancouver, one at the resort-town of Whistler) by an official Jewish clergyman, religious services, and various and sundry accommodations. Additionally, and in a nice twist, one of the final bearers of the Olympics torch before the lighting at the Opening Ceremonies will be a Jewish woman named Karen James, who played on Canada’s basketball team in the 1972 Summer Olympics—the infamous Games, in Munich, during which Palestinian terrorists killed all the Israeli athletes.

For its part, three Israelis will compete: downhill skier Mikail Renzhin, and Alexandra and Roman Zaretsky, a brother-and-sister ice-dancing team. Faster, higher, stronger!

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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