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Gal FRIDMAN (ISR)On 23 August 2004 Gal FRIDMAN made history by become the first athlete from Israel to ever win an Olympic gold medal in any sport. In one of the most exciting conclusions to an Olympic sailing event, Gal secured second place in the final race of the men's windsurfer event to claim his gold medal and become his country's sporting hero. Gal sailed a consistent series in which he never finished outside the top eight.

The nomination period began for Gal with a bronze medal at the 2003 ISAF World Championship, followed by a break from competing on the ISAF Graded Event circuit, except to attend the 2004 Mistral World and European Championships.

Achievements of Gal Fridman

ISAF World Sailing Ranking at the end of the nomination period (3 August 2004) - 11
Current ISAF World Sailing Ranking (2 September 2004) - 6
1st - Olympic Sailing Competition, Grade W - August 2004
23rd - Mistral European Championship, Grade 1 - June 2004
20th - Mistral World Championship, Grade W - April 2004
3rd - ISAF World Championship, Grade W - September 2003

Name Gal Fridman
Date of Birth 27653
Place of Birth Hadera, Israel
Profession Athlete
Age started sailing 7
First boat sailed Alpha
Age started racing 12
First boat raced Bic
What inspired you to take up sailing? My father
How did you buy your first boat? Help from my father. He made this all possible
Which was your first sailing club? Sdot-yam Sailing Club
First event competed in and year World Championship, 1989 (Canada)
First event won and year Macabi Games, 1989
Principle achievements Olympic Gold Medal - 2004
Principle achievements Olympic Bronze Medal - 1996
Principle achievements World Champion - 2002
Principle achievements World Championship Silver Medal - 1995 and 1996
Principle achievements World Championship Bronze Medal - 2003
Principle achievements European Championship Silver Medal - 2002
Detail the personal highlights of your career to date Becoming the first Israeli Olympic gold medallist and the first Israeli to win two Olympic medals. All Israeli athletes compete in honour of the 11 Israeli team members assassinated by terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, they now have a joyful acomplishment to which they can aspire.
What are your future sailing aspirations? To continue sailing and represent Israel at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
Briefly state what sailing means to you Sailing is my life. I started sailing as a kid because it was fun and my father was involved in the sport. I was pretty good in the sport so I decided to take it to the next level.
Who has had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why? My father gave me my love for sailing. He inspires me both while I sail and how I live my life
Who do you consider to be your sailing hero if any? My father
What other sports do you participate in outside of sailing? Mountain bike
Briefly state what being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2004 means to you. It has often been said that being nominated is an honour in itself. I never believed or understood this until now.
If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2004, briefly state what this will mean to you. To be recognised by your peers and the Federation is the highest compliment an athlete can receive.

RWS - 2004 - Gal FRIDMAN

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