The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Quakers rising junior David Klatsky chose not to participate in the upcoming 2001 World Maccabiah Games in Israel. Andrew Margolies/SP File Phote

They were supposed to compete in the Olympics.

Well, sort of. Rising juniors Julie Siebert-Johnson and David Klatsky and rising senior Dan Solomito were all going to participate in the 16th World Maccabiah Games, commonly known as the `Jewish Olympics'.

"I have aspirations of participating in the real Olympics, so any international competition is great preparation for me," Siebert-Johnson said.

The 21-day event, which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, runs from July 7 to July 27 in Israel, and is "a celebration of Jewish unity, culture and heritage through world athletic competition," according to a Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel statement. The organization is a sponsor for the American delegation.

However, due to factors concerning safety in Israel at this present time, all three of them have declined to participate in the Games.

"I had a long talk with Dave, as he is a very good friend of mine, and we both felt the possible dangerous consequences outweighed the experiences of the Games," said Siebert-Johnson, who also consulted with her family and Penn assistant coach Tony Tenisci before deciding.

The women's track and field phenom would have competed in the javelin throw, the event in which she holds the Penn record with a throw of 151'10" in her freshman year.

"It was a tough decision because I was favored to win, and I trained a lot in preparation," Siebert-Johnson said, "but I truly believe it was the best one for me at this time."

Klatsky, who grew up with Siebert-Johnson in the town of Holmdel, N.J., had similar thoughts on the matter.

"There's too much violence going on there now that it wasn't worth it to me to put my life in jeopardy," Klatsky said.

Klatsky and Solomito both play for the Penn men's basketball team and would have competed in their sport at the Games.

Klatsky averaged seven points, 5.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game and shot 37 percent from three-point range in 2000-2001. Solomito made 22 appearances off the bench, averaging three points and 10.8 minutes per contest last season.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.