Windsurfer Gal Fridman from kibbutz Sdot Yam has won a bronze medal in the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics, and a gold medal in the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics.
In 2007 he won the Men’s Windsurfer New Year International Regatta in Limassol, Cyprus.
He is the only Israeli athlete to have won two Olympic medals, and the first (and only, to date) Olympic gold medallist in Israeli history.
His first name, Gal, means “wave” in Hebrew.
And he really spells his last name “Fridman.”
In 2008, Fridman switched to coaching, and guided Nimrod Mashiach to the silver medal in the 2009 World Championship.
Nimrod means “We shall rebel” in Hebrew. Mashiach means “Anointed.”
In 2005 he married Michal Peleg, his girlfriend of ten years.
Her maiden name, Peleg, means “little stream” in Hebrew.
In 2005, Fridman’s medals were stolen from his parents’ home in a robbery, but the gold medal was not taken.
In July, 2009, his wife gave birth to baby girl Ella.
Her name means both a kind of tree (Pistacia palaestina) and “Goddess.”
Sdot Yam means “Sea Fields” in Hebrew. The kibbutz was established as a fishing village just north of Hadera.
Back in 1936, it was only officially a fishing village, but in reality served as a base for the Palyam, the naval branch of the Haganah underground, for smuggling in then-illegal immigrants. Yossi Harel, famous for commanding the Exodus and three other illegal ships, is buried at Sdot Yam.
Harel means “God’s Mountain” in Hebrew.
Exodus is what we’ve been doing here for 150 years now.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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