Roei Yellin, 22, a native Israeli who is one of the three kayakers who will represent Israel in Athens, said he, too, now understands and speaks quite a bit of Russian. His coach, Anatoly Peshehodov, who is from Moldova, has even Russified Yellin's name, calling him Roeike. Yellin's kayaking team - his coach, sports doctor, sports psychologist and the man who maps out his training plan - are all from the former Soviet Union.I particularly liked the comments from one of the other kayakers, who now lives on a Kibbutz and appears to have gone completely native:
Before every competition, kibbutz members drape signs wishing him luck on an old grain silo. More signs and a festive reception always accompany his return.What a good sport (oy)...
'On kibbutz I have training-camp-like conditions - a place to live, a bed, meals three times a day, laundry,' he said. 'It's everything I need and the people are great.'