גפן וכרם פרימו
Kerem, left, and Gefen Primo
Photo: Oren Aharoni
Kerem, left, and Gefen Primo

Judo sisters dream of shared Olympics

Gefen Primo, 19, is already on the course for the 2020 Tokyo Games, while her younger sister Kerem, aged 14, is already national Judo champion, and hopes to represent her country together with her sister in Paris in 2024

Oren Aharoni |
Published: 01.25.20 , 09:39
There are many siblings who have risen to prominence together in various fields of sports, there's Serena and Venus Williams in tennis, Pau and Marc Gasol in professional basketball, and now there's Gefen and Kerem Primo, two young Israeli Judo champions with promising careers ahead of them.
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  • The senior Primo sister, 19-year-old Gefen, gained national fame after a string of impressive victories, including bronze at the Judo World Championship in Tel Aviv in 2018.
    גפן וכרם פרימוגפן וכרם פרימו
    Kerem, left, and Gefen Primo
    (Photo: Oren Aharoni)
    These days, Gefen (who's also serving in the Israel Defense Forces) trains almost daily in order to guarantee her spot at the upcoming national Judo championship, whose winners will represent Israel at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
    Her younger sister Kerem might be only 14, but she has already demonstrated her immense talent with a win at the Israeli Judo championship for adults.
    Despite having a match of her own to win, Gefen didn't miss her younger sister's inspiring victory.
    "When I finished my own match, I knew I had to see how Kerem was doing," Gefen says, "I finished my match, ran to hers, and arrived the second she'd won - it was amazing."
    גפן וכרם פרימוגפן וכרם פרימו
    The Primo sisters in training
    (Photo: Oz Moalem)
    Kerem on her part, also tries to watch every match her big sister participates in, even if it's just on television.
    "When I see Gefen competing, I'm inspired," says Kerem with a smile, "I feel like I'm with her, I'm doing the moves she's doing while our entire family scream out instructions at the tv."
    The two sisters naturally train together, offering each other emotional support and tips on how to improve.
    "We train together a lot," says Gefen, "I ask her how she feels, and what she thinks I'm doing wrong or right, and where I can improve."
    גפן פרימוגפן פרימו
    Gefen Primo during the national Judo competition
    (Photo: Oren Aharoni)
    "I keep learning something new each time we spar," says Kerem. "I adore how she takes every practice match seriously, even in her everyday life she's a true professional athlete."
    The two sisters' personal hero is none other then the retired Israeli Judoka Yarden Gerbi, who won a gold medal for Israel in the 2016 Olympics.
    "We grew up watching Yarden," says Kerem. "She sometimes comes to our practices in order to show us techniques, and when you see her train, you could almost see the fire within her."
    Gefen, who is already training hard in order to be one of Israel's representatives in this year's Olympics in Tokyo, keeps dreaming she and Kerem will have a chance to compete together in the 2024 Paris Games.
    "There's five more years," says Gefen, "there's still the Tokyo Olympics and three world championships ahead of us, but I'm always dreaming of us both at the Paris Olympics."
    "That's the dream," says Kerem, "that we'll stand together at the opening ceremony for the 2024 Olympics."

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