Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Open Letter to Mr. Boris Chait, President IISF and Israel Olympic Committee

Dear Mr. Boris Chait and the Israeli Olympic Committee,

It has recently come to my attention as well as many other friends and fans of figure skating that Tamar Katz, a wonderful athlete that represents the Israel Ice Skating Federation so well, has been denied the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream...a chance to compete in the Winter Olympics.

As a fan of figure skating, as fan of sport, and as a citizen of the world, I ask that you please not deny Tamar this chance. She successfully earned a berth for Israel at this season's Nebelhorn Trophy, meeting the ISU qualifications for obtaining a berth, why would you deny her that opportunity?

I say if you aren't pleased with her recent performance at the European Championships, let her go to the Olympics and allow her to prove she can do better. Let another flag for Israel wave in the opening ceremonies. Let another dream come true. Giving Tamar this chance costs you nothing but a breath of air to say "yes." In saying yes, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I can think of no reason why you would deny her this chance.

Amazing stories of triumph, perseverance, struggle, defeat, and victory will be told in Vancouver. I implore you, allow Tamar's story to be among those told. President Chait, your motto is "the sun never sets on my desk." Please don't let the sun set on Tamar's dream.

With hope that you will allow Tamar to compete,

Aaron @ Axels, Loops, and Spins.

UPDATE: Tamar's story is being featured in the New York Times.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

why was she denied? Was her placements among different competitions not high enough to qualify? If that's the case, then she should not go. It would be terribly unfair to others that if she was given an exception simply because she has a sobbing story to tell. A lot of people have sobbing stories to tell. If we all let people who have sobbing stories to tell to go to the Olympics, then the the Olympics would not be about sports, it would be about sobbing stories.

simonbel said...

Her placement was high enough to go by the ISU's count, it seems bizzare not to send her, that's not a sob story, that's an s.o.b. story

Anonymous said...

Katz would have needed to finish 12th at Euros and might have made it even if she'd finished a bit lower. The problem was that she didn't even get into the free skate (for which we can blame the new format). She's had some medical issues that have affected her performance the last couple of years, and hasn't looked very good in competition this season.

Still, it wasn't Chait's call; he lobbied for Katz to go to Vancouver. The decision on national criteria for Israeli athletes is made by the Israeli Olympic Committee, and it was they who turned her down; so this letter should be addressed to them...

I believe quite a few countries set higher criteria for their skaters than just ISU qualification, and I think it's really unfortunate. If a skater has qualified for the Olympics, that skater should compete in the Olympics. That goes for other athletes, too.

Aaron said...

I've sent this letter to the head of Israeli Olympic Committee as well as head of European Olympic Committee's as well.

And allowing her to compete isn't about a sob story. She earned a spot for Israel through competition...the ISU has allocated a spot for Israel based on Tamar's sports performance and they are taking a pass...puzzling.

tg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What does Israel gain by denying Tamar Katz the opportunity she earned through the international governing body? Further, Tamar is an experienced international competitor, articulate and charming and it seem to me that the Israeli Olympic Committee should jump at the chance to send its first female to qualify in one of the most popular events in the Olympic games. Especially, since Tamar Katz would give the world a very positive image of Israel.

Anonymous said...

help support Tamar:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=269779538509&ref=nf

Anonymous said...

What is this silliness of a letter and petition? Tamar did not earn the right to skate at the Olympics. She was just granted the chance to go because the Georgian Federation did not use its 2nd spot and Tamar was next of the alternates list. So stop the misinformation please.

Aaron said...

Anonymous, when Georgia opted to not use their 2nd Olympic berth it isn't as if the ISU spun a wheel and randomly picked another country...they picked the next highest qualifier based upon sport performance. That was Tamar Katz for Israel so I reject your claim that she didn't earn a spot.