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08 Feb 2005
IOC News , museum-news-articles

A charming Olympic champion at the Olympic Museum

Olympic windsurfing champion at the Athens Games last year, Gal Fridman was keen to visit the Olympic Museum during his stay in Switzerland. With his fiancée, he had a special tour of the Museum’s collections, with explanations from a member of the Museology section.

A windsurfing sensation
Born in Hadera, Israel, almost 30 years ago, Gal Fridman discovered the joys of windsurfing thanks to his father Uri, who was himself a great fan of this water sport. He was his coach for many years and gave him a liking for competition.

Impressive achievements
In 1996, at the age of 21, and encouraged by the bronze medal he deservedly won in Atlanta, Gal was nominated Israeli Sportsman of the Year. In 2000, he did not qualify for Sydney and thought about retiring from competition. For two years, he even gave up windsurfing and devoted himself to other sports, such as mountain biking. In 2002 however, he came back to his favourite sport and rediscovered the route of success by becoming the first Israeli to won a gold medal in the World Mistral Championships, in Pattaya, Thailand.

A majestic road to Athens
After his main rival, Amit Inbar, backed out, and Gal qualified for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, he believed again that an Olympic medal was within his grasp. He was not wrong, as this time he was the proud winner of the gold medal, giving Israel its first Olympic gold medal!

What next?
When asked if he is thinking about taking part in the Olympic Games a third time, in 2008 in Beijing, the young man replies “Of course, but I hope above all that my medal will encourage other Israeli athletes to prepare for these Games. For my part, I am waiting for my new board and starting up training again!”

Learn more on the Olympic Museum
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