February, 2010

Hey everyone,

I thought it was time for an update on everything that has happened since the European Championships. This has been quite a whirlwind of a year for me. As most of you know, in September of 2009, I became the first single ladies competitor to qualify an Olympic berth for Israel. I was very proud that after ten years of dedication, motivation, competitions, and achievements I finally accomplished my goal and would be providing Israel with another blue and white flag in the games. However, as many of you have read in the New York Times and other newspapers, blogs, and forums, the Israeli Olympic Committee creates separate standards for sending athletes to the games, and they decided not to send me to Vancouver. As a small country, with a limited number of elite athletes, I believe that my participation in the Vancouver games is vital for the future of the sport in Israel. It is also important for the world to see Israel outside the political light, in a place where Jews around the world can cheer and be proud of, the Olympic Games. I hope that enough media attention has been garnered by my story so that in the future all Israeli athlete who have gained a spot in the Olympics will not be denied the right to compete.

I understand that the Israeli Olympic Committee wants to win medals, but the Olympics aren't just about medals, they are about being an ambassador for your country and representing it with honor and respect. Not to mention the point of the Olympics as expressed by the Olympic creed:

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

The creed and motto are meant to spur the athletes to embrace the Olympic spirit and perform to the best of their abilities.

I want to thank everyone for all the letters, the petitions, videos, and the support you have given me. Although it did not reverse the Israeli Olympic Committee's decision, it gave me a much needed morale boost to continue to represent Israel and make necessary changes. I will be on Rusty Mike Radio Sport Show this coming Wednesday at 8:10 PM Israeli time. You can listen on: Rustymikeradio.com.

On another note, two weeks ago, I decided to make a coaching change. My coach for the last three years, Peter Burrows, has been my mentor and my friend. He has been my rock. I have total and complete respect for him and for my second coach Mary-Lynn Gelderman. However, I felt that I needed a different training regimen going into worlds, and I have relocated to the Skating Club of Boston to train with Peter Johansson and Mark Mitchell. I will compete at the world championships in Torino, Italy at the end of March.

Again thanks for the support and for following me on my journey.

Tamar



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