Israeli Judo team gives fans something to cheer about

by Phil Schneider

Physical activity is often viewed as a form of leisure, a hobby, or something to do as a break.  However, it is much more than that. It is a necessity that is built into our DNA. Some people simply ignore that.  It is also a source of national pride in competitive sport.  Moreover, it is a sign that a country is young, modern, alive, and thriving.  This is so true about the young State of Israel.  Sport is something that unites despite the ferocious arguments between people about the merits of their favorite teams. 


Judo is one of those sports that makes the watcher feel like they are watching two gladiators fighting back in Roman times. It actually feels rather primitive to cheer on one person trying to defeat the other and bring them to the ground. But, very few people can argue that it is not entertaining to watch.

Ori Sasson

Ori Sasson is Israel’s judo star. He hails from Jerusalem, and has emerged as an Olympic icon for so many in Israel. In 2016, in Rio, he won a bronze in the Oly,mpics He even spoke out and produced a TEDx talk about his experiences as a sensitive person who was also an Olympic fighter.

Ori’s Olympic success became an massive international moment when he defeated his Egyptian opponent. The Egyptian opponent refused to shake his hand. But Ori’s professionalism in judo during and after the incident brought him global acclaim.

Ori serves as an inspiration to so many as a person who both overcomes emotion, controls his nerves, focuses on his goals, and represents his country, Israel, with pride.

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