Jews On Ice: Jewish Athletes In Sochi 2014

We Jews sometimes get a bad wrap for our lack of athletic ability. However, there are dozen of Jewish athletes representing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Taglit-Birthright Israel even has amazing alumni who represent Israel in International Competitions. In particular, figure skating is emerging as the Jewish sport-of-choice. Jews on Ice! Learn more about #TeamTaglit here: www.birthrightisrael.com/teamtaglit

1. Taylor Gold

With a last name synonymous with winning, Taylor Gold, 20, is on his way to doing just that; he took the win at the U.S. Revolution Tour in 2013 and earned an invite to X Games Tignes. Gold is a U.S. snowboarder and made the men’s halfpipe team! From Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

2. Arielle Gold

Recognize the last name? Meet Taylor’s sister, Arielle, 17. Gold is an American snowboarder. She won the gold medal in the halfpipe at the FIS Snowboarding World Championships 2013. As a 16-year-old, she became the second-youngest rider to win the FIS World Snowboarding Championships and won bronze at her first X Games. She made the podium in six of 11 events. From Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

3. Charlie White

Hailing from Royal Oak, Michican, Charlie White, 26, is an American ice dancer. With partner Meryl Davis, he is a two-time (2011, 2013) World champion, the 2010 Olympic silver medalist, two-time (2010, 2012) World silver medalist, five-time Grand Prix Final champion (2009–2013), three-time Four Continents champion (2009, 2011, 2013) and six-time U.S. national champion (2009–2014). They won a bronze medal in the team event at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

4. Vladislav Bykanov

Bykanov, 24, is an Israeli short track speed skater who has competed since 2004. Bykanov has also qualified to compete for Israel at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in all three individual races By doing so he became the first male athlete to qualify from Israel in short track speed skating. Although he was born in Ukraine he moved to Israel in 1994 and has lived there ever since.

5. Dylan Moscovitch

Dylan Moscovitch is a Toronto, Canadian pair skater. With his partner Kirsten Moore-Towers, he is the 2011 Canadian national champion and 2014 Olympic silver medalist in the team event. He is a certified instructor of Krav Maga, a self-defense system developed by the Israel Defense Forces.

6. Evgeni Krasnopolski

He grew up in Israel, served in the IDF, lives abroad only to improve his ability and urges his skating partner to learn Hebrew. Evgeni Krasnopolski is realizing his dream at the Winter Olympics! Krasnopolski is an Israeli pair skater who currently competes with Andrea Davidovich, 16, also Jewish. They are the first skaters to qualify a pairs’ entry for Israel at a Winter Olympics, finishing 15th in Sochi.

7. Virgile Vandeput

Originally born in Belgium, Vandeput opted to switch to represent Israel from 2010/11 onwards, because he felt he would have better opportunities to compete at the highest level. “I opted for the Israeli federation simply to circumvent the national quota imposed in international competitions. This allowed me to participate in competitions as soon as I was able.” He is an alpine skiier who represents Israel the Winter 2014 Games.

8. Simon Shnapir

Simon Shnapir is an American pair skater. With partner Marissa Castelli, he is the 2013 Four Continents bronze medalist, the 2009 World Junior bronze medalist, and a two-time U.S. national champion. Shnapir was born in Russia amd emigrated to Boston, USA when he was a baby.

9. Noah Hoffman

Hoffman is the only Jew on the U.S. cross-country skiing team. He once put together a Hanukkah party for his teammates, complete with latkes. An American hasn’t won an Olympic metal in cross-country skiing since 1976. But might this year’s 14-member team set a new record?

10. Jason Brown

Brown is from Highland Park, Illinois. A rising star at the junior level of American figure skating, Jason Brown, 19, was little known to most sports fans a year ago. He is the 2013 Trophée Eric Bompard bronze medalist, 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy silver medalist, and 2014 U.S. national silver medalist. He’s not been to Israel yet, but hopes to go on a Birthright Israel trip one day with fellow skater, Max Aaron. “I’m dying to go,” he said.

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