Monday, July 18, 2005

I won the Maccabiah and all I got was this lousy fake medal

This is just too hilarious. According to the Jerusalem Post,
Apparently you don't have to be Jewish (or even an Israeli Arab) to win at the Maccabiah. Even natives of countries at war with Israel can win the gold – almost.
Mohammad Babulfath went undefeated on his way to taking first place in the 84-kg weight class of the Maccabiah's Greco-Roman wrestling competition at Hadar Yosef on Sunday. But nobody seems to know how he got into the competition in the first place.
The Iranian-born Muslim, who represents Sweden at international competitions, came to the Maccabiah, the "Jewish Olympics," with his teammate Jimmy Samuellson and coach Richard Swierad, neither of whom are Jewish either. The three had no idea that the Maccabiah is only open to Jews and Israelis, and came to participate as a result of a long line of irresponsible mix-ups."I don't know exactly how," said Swierad, laughing, "but we are here."
The sad thing is that although Babulfath won his category (-- not his usual one; the weighing-in time on his "invitation" was wrong, what a surprise), he didn't get a proper Maccabiah medal but one simply recognizing his participation. Aren't the Maccabiah organizers taking themselves a little seriously here? These games are not about winning and half the categories are full of amateurs -- at least one has a team member who hasn't played the sport he's competing in for forty years. Finally, an Iranian who doesn't refuse to compete against Israelis! C'mon, show a little more sportsmanship in return....

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