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After the Olympics, Linoy Ashram is confident of its iconic status in Israel

After the Olympics, Linoy Ashram is confident of its iconic status in Israel

JTA – This summer; Linoy Ashram became the first Israeli woman to win an Olympic gold medal in all sports. But that’s not the only story he wrote at the Tokyo Games.

She became Israel’s third Olympic gold medalist and the first Israeli rhythmic gymnast to win gold. Ashram’s victory also ended a streak of Russian gold dating back to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 (and before the five Russian victories: 1996 and 1992 were won by Ukrainian women and 1988 by a gymnast from the Soviet Union ).

Nothing serious; right? The 22-year-old looks at him humbly.

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“I did not dream of winning the gold;” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I never thought I could do it; I was hoping for bronze.”

For those who hadn’t followed her European tournament triumphs in years; Ashram’s exploits in Tokyo made her an icon of Israeli sport – a person who emerged from a working-class background in the town of Rishon LeZion; where she grew up training. “no infrastructure; no support” for the new face of Israel’s Olympic success on the world stage.

“It is true that this sport is dominated by people from Eastern Europe;” Ashram said. -The best athletesjournaltimee from there. When I was little; I never imagined that it would be possible to reach his level; because [ressemblait] to your sport. But as I went from onejournaltimepetition to another and got better; I started to realize that it doesn’t matter where [vous venez] or who dominates the sport; I can always win it for who I am. “

“I am very proud of my country and I am proud to represent my country in the best possible way;” she added.

As American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles noted with her many retirements from her mental health-relatedjournaltimepetitions this year; Olympicjournaltimepetition and fame aren’t always fun and lighthearted.

Winning; for Ashram; was actually “a mixed bag”. His family were not allowed to attend his performances due to restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Stress mixed with happiness and the relief of seeing the end of thejournaltimepetition.

After the Olympics, Linoy Ashram is confident of its iconic status in Israel

Olympic gold medalist Linoy Ashram is greeted by the press; family and friends upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport after winning the gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics at the Olympic Games in Japan on August 11; 2021 (Credit: Menahem Kahana / AFP)

This is likely in part because his win was played on cable; with what his Russian opponents would like to call a controversy.

Ashram narrowly outperformed its Russianjournaltimepetitor; scoring only 0.15 points higher than Dina Averina’s; prompting the Russian Olympic Committee to call the result “unfair” and open an official investigation.

The International Gymnastics Federation has rejected any allegation of unfair trial. But the damage in terms of public relations had already been done; and Ashram was hit by a wave of criticism and insults online.

She did not let the conflict affect her.

“I didn’t really pay attention to what they were saying – [mon entraîneuse et moi] they werejournaltimepletely focused on winning; “he said.

Ashram was born in Rishon LeZion; a city about 5 miles south of Tel Aviv; to a Yemeni Jewish father and a Greek Sephardic Jewish mother.

-I am especially proud to have been able to show others that although this sport has been dominated by Eastern Europeans; I can win it and bring something new. And it is not a fact that Eastern European athletes [gagnent] Ashram says.

Israel’s Linoy Ashram celebrates her victory in the Rhythmic Gymnastics Individual Overall Final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Center in Tokyo on August 7; 2021 (Lionel Bonaventure / AFP)

This sport; or any other Olympic sport; is generally not dominated by a Jew. Ashram showed her Jewish pride by performing her gold medal routine in “Hava Nagila”; which will of course go down in history alongside another iconic moment in Jewish gymnastics: The Gymnast’s Floor Stretch Jewish Aly Raisman at the London Olympics in London. 2012 in “Hava Nagila”. “; for which he also won gold.

Before the 2012 Games; Raisman told the JTA that she was proud to use the Jewish song “because there are not many elite Jewish athletes.”

-We called ‘Hava Nagila’; Ashram said;- because we wanted to bring something Israeli; Jewish to this year’s Olympics. I know they’ve used it in the past at the Olympics; and it shows how much we really relate to this country and want to bring that Jewish touch to the world. “

Rhythmic gymnastics was introduced at the 1984 Olympic Games. In this sport; gymnastsjournaltimepete with four different instruments: the hoop; the ball; the sticks; and the ribbon. Ashram does not have a favorite among the four; each one requires a different style and different music. She enthusiastically describes how she and her coach choose the music to match each accessory: the hoop is ‘dramatic’; the ribbon is ‘happy’; the ball is ‘romantic’ and the clubs are ‘stylish’.

Ashram’s choice for their club number in Tokyo was a mix of pop hits from Beyoncé and Ciara; but for the tape number; “Hava Nagila;” a staple of Jewish celebrations around the world; ticked the box. ” happy”.

Ashram also praised Raisman’s former teammate Simone Biles and the conversation about athletes and mental health she sparked this year.

“I am happy that he has recovered from what happened;” Ashram said. -Athletes also suffer from mental health crises. I’m very happy that I was able to ovejournaltimee that and go back to training and being a part of the Olympics; he left in the middle; but came back for the final exercise; and that shows how strong he is. . “

Ashram has a calm personality. On his days off; he has not yet registered for the next Olympic Games in Paris in 2024; but he still trains as he usually does; he likes to eat his family’s schnitzels at home; go to the beach or to the movies.

Although Israel is currently in “sufganiyot” mode for Hanukkah; it is not a big fan of traditional jelly donuts. However; he is looking forward to this celebration and being able to enjoy it with his entire family.

She is still adjusting to the public aspect of her star athlete status. After Hanukkah; he will travel to the United States for the first time; as part of the 2021 American-Israeli Council National Summit in Florida. This is the first major meeting of Jewish organizations to take place in person since the beginning of the pandemic; and Ashram is looking forward to speaking.

Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram performs during the Rhythmic Gymnastics Individual Overall Final at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Saturday August 7; 2021 in Tokyo; Japan. (Credit: AP / Ashley Landis)

“I’m especially excited to meet a different kind of audience; no [seulement] Israelis in Israel. It’s exciting to be able to address new audiences; –he said.

Returning to Israel and his family after the Tokyo Games; he quickly realized the extent of his notoriety. He received a “hero’s wejournaltimee” at Ben Gurion Airport; which he described as “truly amazing and moving.” His infatuation with her has yet to subside.

“On the one hand; it’s very nice because I love receiving all this warmth and love from people and knowing that people are happy for me;” he said. “On the other hand; I find it difficult to walk down the street [quand] people recognize me all the time.

Incredulous; she remembered a time when she was wearing her face mask and hat; and someone recognized her anyway.

“My life has definitely changed a bit;” he said.

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