Israelis dance on ice in Turino

Thursday, February 09, 2006 |    

Israeli ice dancers Galit Hayit and Sergei Sachanowski could become Israel’s first winter Olympic medalists when they skate on Saturday night in Torino, Italy. While both are Israeli, neither of them speak Hebrew nor do they train in Israel. Hayit grew up in the US and Sachanowski emigrated from Russia, but met his partner at the Canada Center in Metulla in northern Israel. The pair feel they receive inadequate financial backing, one-third of their budget, from the country they represent compared to athletes in other countries. “Right now, we cannot think past the Olympics,” said Hayit. “Our entire focus is on the competition.” The Israeli ice couple’s coach Yevgeny Paltov believes they have a good chance at the bronze or the silver. “They have a unique style and are in top physical condition,” he said.

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