Daily Israel Report

New Zealand Jewish Sailor Takes Olympic Gold

New Zealand Jewish sailor Jo Aleh and her partner Polly Powrie won the gold medal in the women’s 470 regatta.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/12/2012, 6:32 PM

New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie
New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie
Reuters

New Zealand Jewish sailor Jo Aleh and her partner Polly Powrie won the gold medal in the women’s 470 regatta, becoming the first first New Zealand women to win a sailing gold in anything other than windsurfing.

Aleh, 26, whose parents are dual Israeli-New Zealand citizens, was elated as she crossed the finish line.

“It probably won’t sink in for a while but it’s pretty cool!” she told the BBC.

“I thought even silver was a pretty big deal, but it’s pretty awesome to bring back a gold medal because no New Zealand woman has ever won a medal in a sit-down boat so I’m sitting down and we’ve got one now!”

President of the New Zealand Jewish Council Stephen Goodman congratulated the pair on behalf of the Jewish community.

”The New Zealand Jewish community is extremely proud of Jo and Polly’s Olympic success; this pride is both as New Zealander’s and as Jews,” he told J-Wire. “To win a gold medal reflects the huge amount of time and effort they have put in. We offer them our most sincere congratulations.”

While plans have been postponed due to post-Olympic celebrations, Aleh is hoping to travel to Israel in the near future in honor of her sister’s Bat Mitzvah.