Netanyahu and Rivlin Honor Israeli Athlete Who Was Snubbed By Opponent At Olympics
Or Sasson was publicly honored by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his Egyptian opponent Islam El-Shahaby refused to shake his hand following their Olympic judo match. El-Shahaby also refused to bow and was booed by the crowd. The Egyptian athlete is reportedly quitting the sport following the incident.
Sasson won the match and was awarded a bronze medal for his achievement.
Netanyahu’s video message, which aired in Hebrew on local Channel 2, was partially translated into English by the Times of Israel staff in an article.
“Every boy and girl saw not just a great athlete but also a man of values,” Netanyahu said in the video. “You showed the true face of Israel, the beautiful, proud face of a strong country that seeks peace.”
He also said “you’ve shown that if someone wants something enough, the dream is achievable." Netanyahu also congratulated Sasson on Twitter calling his win “a remarkable achievement.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also weighed in on Sasson's victory and the way he conducted himself during the match, saying he “brought honor” to the country, according to the Times of Israel article.
His medal marks the second for Israel in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Yarden Gerbi also won a bronze medal in the Women’s Judo tournament.