U.S. women’s gymnastics team takes the gold to the tune of “Hava Negila”


What a thrill it was to watch the U.S. women’s gymnastics team win the gold earlier this week.

Watching Aly Raisman finish the night with a phenomenal floor routine to the tune of “Hava Negila” was especially moving to me. Perhaps because of the International Olympic Committee’s refusal to honor, with a moment of silence, the Israeli athletes slain by PLO terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, I haven’t been feeling the excitement over these Olympic Games. The disgusting nature of that attack, and the further insult to the athletes’ memories committed by the IOC–as well as the emergence, in recent days, of horrific details,┬áincluding that the head of the IOC in 1972 was a Nazi sympathizer who refused to provide the Israeli athletes with requested security–had been depressing me. But watching Aly, a Jewish-American who served as the “anchor” of her team, lifted my heart.

She was beautiful, athletic, and ebullient. And although her choice of “Hava Negila” – a traditional song of Jewish celebration –may not have been political, the fact that she selected it as music for the floor routine that helped her team clinch the gold made me, as a Jewish-American woman, especially proud. What shining examples of grace, backbone, and the Olympic spirit this young sportswoman (pictured above with teammate Gabby Douglas) as well as her fellow athletes on the U.S.’s beautiful multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious Women’s Gymnastics Team were tonight!

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