Jewish American Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman will be inducted into The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Suffolk, New York in April 2013.
The 18 year-old gymnast who secured the Olympic gold while performing a floor routine to the melody of “Hava Nagilah,” left the Olympic Games with three medals in her pocket and known to many adoring fans as the “Jewish Star.”
Aly not only brought Jewish pride to the London Games this year with her extraordinary athletic abilities and choice in music, but also by paying tribute to the slain Israeli athletes during her shining moments.
Despite the International Olympic Committee’s refusal to commemorate the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were murdered at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Aly said, “If there had been a minute of silence, I would have participated."
“This is a great honor,” Raisman told The Needham Times when she was notified of her induction. “Just last year I was given the Pearl D. Mazor Award and now I am being inducted.”
The Pearl D Mazor Award is presented annually by The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame & Museum to the outstanding Jewish female high school scholar-athlete of the year in the United States.
“It was a tremendous thrill to see one of our Hall of Fame family competing at the London Olympics,” said Hall of Fame Chairman Lynne Kramer. “And even greater to see Aly won three medals is absolutely amazing.”
In addition to taking the gold in the women’s individual floor exercises, Raisman secured the bronze for her routine on the balance beam and helped Team USA take the women’s team gold, the first Olympic gold medal for the U.S. gymnastics squad since the 1996 Games in Atlanta.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein recently invited the entire Raisman family to visit Israel. They are planning to do so in the near future.