Inappropriate Politics at Beijing Games Continues

This weekend, the Iranian men's wheelchair basketball team competing at the Paralympic Games in Beijing quit the tournament. The reason given was "dissatisfaction" with their "schedule," although there is speculation that they quit because of the possibility they would play the Israeli team in the next round. According to theTehran Times: The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the International Paralympics Committee announced that Iran has pulled out of competition "due to their dissatisfaction with the draw proposed for the cross-over round and subsequent schedule". The draw placed Iran and Israel on the same side of the bracket, so that if they both won their quarterfinal matches (against the USA and Canada, respectively) they would play each other in the semifinals. We wrote about two similar incidents during the Olympic Games in August, when Iranian and Syrian swimmers pulled...

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Beijing Olympics: Jewish Update Part II

Alas, the ├╝ber-hyped 2008 Beijing Olympics are upon us. A few weeks ago, we had an overview of Jewish news related to the Games, and we're pleased to bring a second installment. You'd probably like to know, for example, how many American-Jews will be competing. The answer to that is seven, led by four swimmers. Jason Lezak, Ben Wildman-Tobriner, Garrett Weber-Gale, and Dara Torres lead the way. The three men, in fact, will most likely comprise three-fourths of the men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay. And Torres, the 41 year-old sprinter who has nine medals to her name, is enshrined in the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and will be competing in her fifth Games, hardly needs an introduction. Another water-related athlete is Rami Zur, a kayaker who competed for Israel in 2000 and the U.S. in...

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