Photo by TPS on 23 July, 2021

‘Wonder Woman’: Israeli Gymnast Linoy Ashram Makes History with 1st Gold in Rhythmic Gymnastics

Public By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 8 August, 2021

Jerusalem, 8 August, 2021 (TPS) -- Israel is celebrating Olympic gold medalist Linoy Ashram, who won the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday, the country’s first-ever medal in this category and the second in the Tokyo Olympics.

Rhythmic gymnast Ashram, 22, won Israel’s third-ever Olympic gold medal, and the first Israeli woman ever to win a gold medal.

President Isaac Herzog spoke with Ashram on Saturday and said: “what excitement. We sat and watched you win with tears in your eyes. You are a huge pride for the whole country.”

“When we saw the tears flowing from your eyes, the Israeli flag rising, the Tikvah anthem playing, and the gold medal resting on your neck – we were moved to tears,” he shared.

“You have contended very impressively and we are so proud of you. Bringing great respect to the State of Israel. Nicole Zelikman [team mate] said ‘we came to dream,’ and indeed you dreamed and fulfilled a dream for an entire country,” he added.

“You join a group of champions who bring us a lot of respect in the world,” he said, telling her to ignore the Russians’ protestations and “not to take to heart any appeals. We are with you, Am Yisrael Chai, thank you so much for the tremendous pride you have brought to us.”

The Russian Olympic Committee is protesting what it claims is “injustice” in the judging, and Ashram ended the country’s two decades-long domination of the category.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Ashram she is “magnificent. You made the entire nation happy. I know that the entire country is proud of you. I also know what you have gone through, the ups and the downs.”

“Many children in Israel are watching you and see you as a true wonder woman, an example of effort and hard work. We love you very much and wish you much success in the future. Thank you, wonder woman,” he said.

Ashram told Bennett that “there are many ups and downs along the way but good things overcome it. I am really very happy to be an example for children and young people in the country.”

Ashram won Israel’s third Olympic gold medal in history days after gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won Israel’s second, and the first gold in Tokyo. Israeli windsurfer Gal Friedman won the first gold for Israel in Athens in 2004.

Israel’s Olympic team had also won two bronze medals in Tokyo, for the judo mixed team, and Avishag Semberg for taekwondo in the women’s 49kg category.