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Israel at the Olympics

Israel's National Olympic Committee was organized in 1933 during the time of the British Mandate of Palestine but was not officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee until 1952. Since their team basically represented the Jewish people to the world, they specifically boycotted the 1936 Summer Games which was held in Germany as a form of protest to the anti-Semitic policies that were being implemented by the German Nazi Party.

Israel first competed at the Olympic Games in 1952. Since 1952, Israel has an almost perfect attendance record, except when they chose to join the US-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow. In 1972, Israel ended up in the world news not for winning an Olympic medal but because of the transgression perpetrated against them by the members of Palestinian terrorist group Black September. Eleven Israeli Olympians were taken hostage and killed in Munich, West Germany.

Despite being in almost all of the Olympic Games since 1952, Israel did not win a single Olympic medal until four decades later. In 1992, female judoka Yael Arad became Israel's first-ever Olympic medalist when he took the silver in July 30 for the under-61 kg weight class in Barcelona, Spain. A day later, another judoka, Oren Smadja took the bronze for the men's under-71kg weight class. These two paved the way for a slew of Israeli Olympic medalist all the way to sailor Shahar Tzuberi who won the bronze for the men's sailboard in Beijing, China for the 2008 Summer Games and this streak was only broken in 2012.

Israel has also been competing in the Winter Games since 1994 but is yet to win their first medal from their Winter Olympians.


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