Archive for the ‘Jews in the Olympics’ Category


Jewish sports update, January 31, 2018

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors (40-11) suffered a rare blowout loss, dropping this one by 30 points to the host Utah Jazz, 129-99. Casspi showed signs of rust, playing 11 minutes, scoring two points, but committing three turnovers and two personal fouls.


Jason Zucker scored his 20th goal of the year, connecting on one of the four shots he took as the Minnesota Wild (27-18-5) beat the host Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in a shootout. It was the seventh consecutive game with a goal or an assist for Zucker, who played 16:31 and served a two-minute penalty for delay of game. The Wild host Brendan Leipsic‘s Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. Leipsic took one SOG in 10:29 as the Knights (33-12-4) beat the host Calgary Flames, 4-2.

David Warsofsky was a scratch as his Colorado Avalanche (27-18-4) fell to the host Vancouver Canucks, 3-2.

Tonight, Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the NY Islanders while Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitols entertain the Philadelphia Flyers.


Alex Bregman is proud of his days at LSUis and vice versa.

The Jays Journal blog asks, “Is Kevin Pillar the next domino to fall to clear the outfield clutter?”

Ryan Braun is clearly on board with the direction his Milwaukee Brewers have taken.

Cardinals Brewers Baseball

MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig will explore the integration of America’s pastime and diversity in the game from 1945 through today during a discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee. The program will be part of the museum’s new exhibit, “Allied in the Fight: Jews, Blacks and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” which is on view until March 25.


JTA posted this piece on “5 Jewish storylines to watch” at the 2018 Winter Olympics, one to which the Jewish state will be sending its largest contingent to date.



Jewish sports update, January 17, 2018

Posted on: January 17th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan


No game for Omri Casspi and the olden state Warriors last night. Tonight they face the Bulls in Chicago. Casspi has missed the last three contests but he should be available tonight.


Zach Hyman played 19:05 without taking a shot on goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-4) fell to the visiting St. Louis Blues, 2-1, in overtime.

Brendan Leipsic was a scratch for the Vegas Golden Knights (29-11-3) in their 1-0 loss to the Nashville Predators.


Jason Demers collected his 11th assist to put the Arizona Coyotes (10-28-8) on the board in the second period of a game they eventually lost to the visiting San Jose Sharks, 3-2. Jakob Chychrun played a team-high 23:25 without taking a shot on goal. How much longer will Demers (right) be on the team?

Another question: How long before the NY Islanders recall problem child Josh Ho-Sang?

No MOT games tonight.


How not to be an example: Kevin Pillar and the dangers of over-strenuous sneezing.


At the Australian Open, Jonathan Ehrlich (Israel) and Daniel Nestor (Canada) lost to Radu Albot (Mondovia) and Hyeon Chung (S. Korea) in men’s doubles, 7-6, 6-3. Madison Brengle (USA) fell to Johanna Konta (United Kingdom), 6-3, 6-1. Denis Shapovalov (Canada)  fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in a tough one: 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 7-5.


They made a movie about the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team. How about one an Israeli skeleton athlete?

Personal trainer sued for displaying swastika tattoo at Brazilian Jewish club

Jewish sports update, January 6, 2018

Posted on: January 6th, 2018 by Ron Kaplan

Including events of Jan. 5…

In the only major pro action that featured a Jewish athlete, Brandon Leipsic took one shot on goal in 13:13 as the Vegas Golden Knights (28-10-2) won their ninth game in their last 10 games, 5-4, over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight, Michael Cammalleri and the Edmonton Oilers visit the Dallas Stars; Zach Hyman and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Vancouver Canucks; Jason Demers and the Arizona Coyotes host the NY Rangers; and Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild visit the Colorado Avalanche.

Omri Casspi is listed as probable for tonight’s game between his Golden State Warriors and the host LA Clippers. He missed the last game with bruised ribs.

Today, Mitchell Schwartz and the Kansas City Chiefs hosts the Tennessee Titans in a wild card NFL playoff. Schwartz was named to the AP All-Pro team as the right tackle. This is second straight year being so honored for the 28-year-old Schwartz. His brother, Geoff — now an NFL analyst — offers this piece on what each team needs to do to win in the first round.

A Jewish quarterback in the New York area would be nifty, but would the Giants, who get a high pick, go for UCLA’s Josh Rosen? Maybe not, according to this article on NJ.com. “…as new Giants general manager Dave Gentleman attempts to rebuild the locker room, Rosen’s personality could be a big story in New York over the next few months. Already, scouts have begun to question Rosen’s motivation for playing the game and personality.” Ruh-ro.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen passes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California in Los Angeles. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Hard to believe — as I sit in NJ where the “real feel” factor is -12 — that spring training is just a few weeks away. The Baltimore Orioles are hosting a minicamp. Richard Bleier is on hand. Could he move from the bullpen into the starting rotation? The World Champion Houston Astros are embarking on one of those caravans. Alex Bregman will be one of the participants. Some people in the Milwaukee Brewer universe are complaining that they can’t move forward with outfield plans because Ryan Braun‘s contract (and no trade clause) are hog-tying them. Braun is set to make $20 million this year. Hey, no one forced them to give him that kind of money, so don’t blame him.

Moving to the Israeli figure skating scene (!)… Let’s kill all the lawyers. (Don’t blame me; that’s Shakespeare’s line.)



Jewish Sports Review review

Posted on: September 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Image result for jewish sports reviewAs I mentioned in the previous entry, recently received the latest issue of JSR which includes:

  • College Football Previews (D-I, II, and III)
  • NFL Preview
  • Pro Hockey Review (2016-17)
  • College Soccer Reviews (men and women)
  • Sports Shorts
  • A recap of the 2017 Maccabiah Games
  • A list of women’s top performances in track& field

The Jewish Sports Review is a must for any true fan of, well, Jewish sports and is only available in print edition. I keep hoping that will change. Can you imagine an outlet that keeps track of these people and issues on a daily basis? If you look at an issue and see how many athletes that would include, you’d understand what a Samson-ish undertaking that would be. I tried to make Kaplan’s Korner that kind of source when I was working at the NJ Jewish News (did I mention it was named blog of the year by the New Jersey Press Association in 2015?), but since that was only a portion of my job description, it was impractical. These days it’s even more difficult, since I actually have to work for a living now.

For further information about JSR, call 310-838-6626 or send an e-mail to shel@jewishsportsreview.com.

Lest we forget: Margaret Bergmann-Lambert

Posted on: July 26th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Margaret Bergmann-Lambert, the champion high-jumper who was banned by Hitler’s Germany from competing in the 1936 Olympics, died yesterday at the age of 103.

She achieved new notoriety several years ago when the Olympics were held once again in Germany

Ira Berkow, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, wrote her obituary for The New York Times which noted “Ms. Lambert’s story was also told in a 2004 HBO documentary, “Hitler’s Pawn,” and, in partly fictionalized form, in the 2009 German film “Berlin 36.” A memoir, “By Leaps and Bounds,” was published in 2005.”


Deutschland Leichtathletik Gretel Bergmann (picture-alliance/dpa)

News or sexploitation?

Posted on: January 12th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

(If this doesn’t get a lot of hits, nothing will.)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/Aly_Raisman_Rio_2016.jpgIn an episode of The Big Bang Theory (one of my favorite programs), Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, a microbiologist, is selected by a magazine as one of the sexiest female scientists, an honor which her friend Amy Farah Fowler disapproves. Women scientists should be judged by their accomplishments, she says, not because they have big boobs. Bernadette thinks anything that brings positive attention to women in science is a good thing, even if it means wearing a wet t-shirt and bending over a car.

I bring this up because I have been wavering whether to mention that Aly Raisman, one of the American gold medal-winning gymnasts, will appear in the pages of the forthcoming Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. This one comes out every February when football is over and baseball has yet to begin again and SI needs to keep up its readership. As you might expect, it garners a lot of attention, increasingly, it seems, by those who find it repugnant and disrespectful to the accomplishments of women athletes. I won’t get into all that here, you can Google it and find plenty of information.

One thing I will not do is link to the photo of Raisman that’s making the rounds; this is still a “family” blog, for the most part, with a modicum of modesty that is part of Jewish philosophy. (Besides, you can Google that, too.) As it is, there has been a fair amount of grumbling in the orthodox community about the outfits gymnasts wear.

The same sentiment about sexualizing women athletes applies to tennis and beach volleyball. Why can’t they wear the same kinds of clothing the men employ, rather than tiny tennis skirts/dresses or bikinis?


Aly Raisman: off the dating market

Posted on: December 16th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan

You didn’t know the Korner had a gossip component, did you.


Well, it’s true: According to this piece on the Algemeiner Journal site, “Jewish Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Raisman Reveals She’s Been Quietly Dating NFL Player Who Asked Her Out Online.”

That player is Colton Underwood, a 24-year-old free agent tight end. The pair have been dating since August.

Now you know.

You’re welcome.

Raisman: I’ll be back

Posted on: September 8th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan

From the JTA:

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman said she is planning to compete in the Summer Games in Tokyo in four years.

Raisman told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday that she plans to take a break before returning to training for the 2020 Olympics.

“That’s the goal,” Raisman said. “I’m going to take off a little bit of time just because I think I need a little bit of a break. I took a full year off in 2012 and I’m going to do the same thing, and then I’ll begin training again.”

Raisman told DeGeneres that she keeps “getting better with age.”

“I thought I was in the best shape of my life in 2012, but it was even better now, so I’m excited to see what will happen in 2020,” she said.

Raisman, at 22 the oldest member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, served as its captain and was nicknamed “Grandma” by teammates.

The Massachusetts athlete appeared on the talk show wearing the three medals she earned in last month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: a gold in the team all-around, and silvers in floor exercise and the individual all-around.

Raisman also won three medals at the 2012 games in London, including two golds: in the team all-around and floor exercise.

Olympic update: The end

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 by Ron Kaplan

So what will people remember most about the Olympics as it pertains to Jews? That Ally Raisman was successful in her final Games as the “grandma” of the U.S. Women’s team? That Israel won two medals? Or that the Egyptian exhibited poor sportsmanship by not shaking the hand of the Israel judoist who beat him? That Saudi Arabia forfeited a judo match just to avoid Israel? Or the bus incident? (Three strikes, man.)

Israel's Or Sasson, left, trying to shake hands with Egypt's Islam Elshehaby after their Olympic judo match in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 12, 2016.(Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)

The Forward ran this “glass half full” piece as the Games came to a close.

Here’s a rundown of how the Israeli delegation did in all their events.

And not to minimize anyone’s connection with Judaism, but items like this — “Physician with Jewish roots at center of Russia’s Olympic doping scandal” — really annoy me. How is it germane that this guy has Jewish roots? Does that explain why he did what he did? If anything, it just feeds into those who have in in for Jews anyway, like they need an excuse. Kind of like Bernie Madoff. Does the fact that he is Jewish have anything to do with the crime? Are the religious backgrounds of criminals in general or embezzlers in particular relevant?

Also, I can’t say I was in love with the way the Times covered the Games. I realize there are only so many ways you can report on the actual, you know, competition. And, yes, people are interested in some backstories, if they’re compelling enough. But all this side stuff about reporters trying to see how many events they can attend, not once but twice? Each set of Games has its set of problems; in this case it was the displacement of the impoverished locals to make way for the rich and famous to have a good time and how wasteful hosting the Olympics have become (weren’t they always) in conjunction with the temporary notoriety and income, which is almost never enough to match the host nation’s costs.

In yesterday’s “Week in Review,” there was this piece about how the Times has moved into the arena of producing video for Facebook, because people don’t actually read anymore (which seems counter intuitive given the length of those two pieces on covering one day’s program). I guess you get more eyes on a headline and hope they’ll click it for more.  That must explain this although, strictly speaking, it’s not a Facebook piece. While the topic of how men and women are covered by the media is very interesting, turning it into a sound bite seems like just doing it for the sake of doing it.

Okay, I think I need to go lie down now. All this complaining is just exhausting.

Olympic update, Aug. 17, 2016

Posted on: August 17th, 2016 by Ron Kaplan

Aly Raisman wins third medal at Rio Olympics

Aly Raisman celebrates on the podium after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Arena, Aug. 16, 2016. (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Jewish swimmer Anthony Ervin becomes oldest individual swimming gold medalist

Anthony Ervin reacting after winning the men's 50-meter freestyle final at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 12, 2016. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)


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