Israeli Olympic swimmer Alon Mandel was informed Wednesday night of his father’s tragic death in a domestic accident in Netanya. The difficult news was relayed by the Israeli Olympic Committee representatives in Beijing.
In a press conference that took place at the Olympic Village on Thursday morning, the heads of the Israeli mission announced Mandel’s decision to make his first Olympic appearance this coming Monday, despite his personal tragedy.
'I've decided to compete despite this difficult time," Mandel told reporters. "My dad would have wanted me to stay. My sister is flying in, and I will return home to be with my family as soon as the competition in over."
Mandel is the Israeli team's swimmer in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly meets. He is slated to compete on August 11 and August 12.
Miki Sagui and Sa'ar Hass contributed to this report