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Shahar Tzuberi Photo: Reuven Schwartz
Shahar Tzuberi Photo: Reuven Schwartz

Israeli Olympic medalist slammed for comments on Chinese

Alex Giladi, Israeli representative on International Olympic Committee says, ‘one of most important values in Olympic movement is mutual respect, respect for opponents; Shahar Tzuberi did not demonstrate either of these values’

Miki Sagui
Published: 09.11.08, 18:05 / Israel Culture

Shahar Tzuberi has not left the headlines. After a big fuss was made over him for being the only Israeli medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, over the past few days the young sailor has been mentioned under less pleasant circumstances.


The media attention given him as of late comes in light of comments he made against the Chinese nation.

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As mentioned, last Friday the sailor said in a Yedioth Ahronoth weekend interview that “the Chinese are bastards,” and the responses were immediate.


On Tuesday, the Chinese Embassy in Israel announced that it has decided to cancel the reception it planned for the Israeli Olympic delegation and on Thursday, it was Alex Giladi’s turn to refer to Tzuberi’s comments.


Giladi, who is the Israeli representative on the International Olympic Committee, sent a letter to the Israeli Olympic Committee in which he asked that “clear measures are taken against Tzuberi including trying him for unsportsmanlike behavior.”


Alex Giladi hugs Shahar Tzuberi in Beijing (Photo: Reuven Schwartz)


According to the Israeli representative, Tzuberi’s declarations, “continue to echo within Olympic circles and even the most important magazine in the Olympic movement, “Around the Rings,” has brought this story to the world.


According to Giladi, “one of the most important values in the Olympic movement is mutual respect and respect for the opponent; Shahar Tzuberi did not demonstrate either of these values.”


At the end of the letter, Giladi wrote, “I am asking to bring this issue to the agenda in the next International Olympic Committee meeting on September 21.


Olympic sailor still making waves (Photo: Reuven Schwartz)


The Israeli representative’s condemnation is joined by that of Minister of Science, Culture & Sport Raleb Majadele.


On Tuesday, Majadele sent a letter to the Chinese ambassador to Israel in which he noted that he has also condemned Tzuberi’s comments.


It should also be noted that over the past few days Tzuberi apologized for his outbursts and claimed in his comments to the media that “this was a slip of the tongue, I retract what I said.”


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