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The greatest Israeli rower in history against the union: "They do not see me" | Israel today


Danny Friedman, the best rower in the history of the industry in the country, tries to return to the senior Olympic staff - and does not understand why the union leaders throw him into the sea: "I just wish they would not be the body that fights me" Absurd, he makes them money "

In my first conversation with Danny Friedman he stressed: "I do not want anyone to think I am crying because I have no money. I have already broken savings and taken loans, but behind me are entities like the Daniel Rowing Center and Snow as a sponsor, who will continue to support me ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics. "I just want the rowing association, which is supposed to stand by my side in the struggles against any obstacle, not to be the body that fights me. The struggle is for their conduct in front of me."

Friedman is considered by many to be the best in the history of Israeli rowing.

The 33-year-old athlete, who immigrated from Ukraine at the age of a year and a half, was raised in a home that exposed him to several sports, but was captivated by the magic of rowing.

Although he failed in his attempt to qualify for the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 games, no Israeli rower before him came close to his achievements in the international arena (in addition to winning the Israeli championship 13 times in a row).

The rowing association and its professional elements are trying to reinvent themselves under the new chairman Doron Cartana and his professional advisor Ziv Ben Yosef. , Without even asking him first if it interested him.

In practice, Gibor, who has also trained so far as an individual, aspires to reach the World Championships by the age of 23, claiming that he is not, for the time being, at a level suitable for adult competitions.

What's more, in the summer he is expected to move to a university in the United States, where he will continue to train in a single boat.

"The union tried to force me to say I did not want the couple," says Friedman, "that I only want a single. I told them we decide together, that I go alone because they have no other option. They wanted a couple, I flowed with them. I flowed with everything they are. They wanted to - and in the end they stayed with me again, so I begged them to decide together that they should go for a single. "

In five months.


According to Friedman, in the months since the end of the criterion competitions for Tokyo, the union members have not checked his condition even once.

They assumed he was preparing for the world championships to be held in Shanghai in November 2021, but the paddler, who suffered a shoulder injury, funded a Wingate residence and physiotherapy treatments, and fortunately, his fitness coach Avi Kowalski did not demand training.

The union has no budget left for it.

"They froze the budget," Friedman claims, "instead of allowing their senior rower what every athlete at his level deserves. The previous management, which included Ilan Buharis as chairman and Eli Sabo as CEO, supported me and helped me with everything. The newly elected management "After Tokyo, he does not see me at all."


Striving for contact, Photo: Udi Citiat

After not getting the ticket to Tokyo, in October last year, Friedman left the senior Olympic squad, and the NIS 3,000 monthly oxygen balloon was also closed.

The Shanghai Championship was his chance to return to the Olympic squad.

Friedman, at a loss, posted a Facebook post in which he attacked the union's conduct and described what he had been through in recent months.

This week it was announced that a budget has been reached for him until May 2022, when the World Cup competition will be held in Belgrade, Serbia.

If he tops the top eight there - he will return to the Olympic squad.

Friedman actually has only four months left to prepare for the big battle of his life - over his sporting life.

The budget will be NIS 50,000, which on the one hand leaves the union financially naked, and on the other hand, for an athlete at Friedman's level it is not a significant amount.

Ram Golombik, a former achiever and who also served as chairman of the rowing association, claims that the union is misbehaving: "With an annual budget of NIS 150,000, it is impossible to come to the union with claims.

You could say they are not running and will return the keys, as I did.

The union is not against Danny, they just are not capable.

"They don't even have the money to pay the CEO's salary. When a senior official in the Ministry of Sports says that the rowing association has no right to exist, it is a decision if they even want such industries here."

Golombik adds and lays all the cards on the table: "The union is an obstacle in competitive sports, as it consists of three and a half clubs declaring that they have no interest in the competition. The union has no competitive rowers other than Danny."

Gili Lustig, Photo: Danny Maron

Gili Lustig, CEO of the Olympic Committee: "What is happening in the association is absurd.

The arrangement is that the union convinces us to continue Danny's program, but in this case Danny Oren (Head of the Achievement Sports Unit; ABB) and I said we would continue to support him and allow for an exceptional scholarship with a full medical and professional envelope, but they must approve the program. The best paddler over the years, and once he wants to continue to fulfill his dream, we are behind him and want to give him a chance until May, and if not this - there is another world championship after that, but he has to start.The union should provide him with all the professional conditions "We will take the rest of the things. Beyond that, if the union needs extras to help it - we are there as we have been all these years. It is not clear to me what their interest is.

"The union supports Danny Friedman"

The rowing association's response: "Over the past six months, the association has undergone administrative and professional changes, ending earlier this month. It should be noted that the goal competition to be held in May 2022 was dictated by the Olympic Committee to enter the Olympic staff and receive the full envelope required for Paris 2024, as received by Friedman until the Criteria competition for Tokyo 2020. And this possibility has been examined before the relevant rowers.

"In addition, during 2021 the union was in budgetary uncertainty, with the amount of support after the corona year not final. At present, the level of support for 2022 is still unknown, making it difficult for the union to formulate an annual budget, including the expenses required to support Friedman.

"The association announced earlier this week, after a board meeting, that it supports Friedman budgetarily (within its capacity) and professionally, and will stand by it in all that is required with the relevant bodies, ie the Achievement Sports Unit and the Olympic Committee, to enable it to compete in the Olympic squad."

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-01-14

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