- Title: ISRAEL: TORTOISE 'OLYMPICS' STAGED IN TEL AVIV.
- Date: 22nd August 2004
- Summary: CROWD WATCHING TORTOISE RACE TORTOISE CROWD (SOUNDBITE) (English) ZOO VET AND ORGANISER OF THE OLYMPIC EVENT YIGAL HOROWITZ SAYING: "We saw the records of the Israeli athletes, they are not very good. So we decided to do also Olympic Games here in the Safari (park) to see if our animals can make better records." TORTOISE CROSSING FINISHING LINE (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOROWITZ SAYING: "We have a new World Record of this tortoise. It's one kilometre per hour." (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ANIMAL KEEPER OMER MELTZER SAYING: "Bougainvillia, a flower that tortoises like very very much. And this will not go on his head but on his shell as a gold medallist Olympic record holder." WINNING TORTOISE WITH CROWN AND FRUIT MONKEY IN TREE
- Embargoed: 6th September 2004 13:00
- Location: RAMAT GAN, ISRAEL
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Environment,Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA493N6EK014DPXOFDT89355WMZ
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Disgusted by Israeli Olympic performance, zoo near Tel Aviv stages tortoise 'Olympics'.
Disgusted by the lackluster showing of the Israeli Olympic team, a safari park just outside Tel Aviv on Sunday (August 22) decided to stage an Olympic event of its own, hoping that tortoises would do better.
Complete with Olympic rings, the organisers lined up half a dozen Sudanese giant tortoises on a 300 metre track in a dig at the Israeli team which so far has managed to return only one bronze medal.
While the Iraeli team in Athens has so far failed to impress, the tortoise team in Ramat Gan claimed a new record for sprinting: one kilometre per hour, compared with three hundred metres per hour previously.
Official scrutineers were absent from the event, and it was unlikely that the International Olympic Committee would allow the record to be called an Olympic one.
And it is unlikely to be of consolation to a nation that has not seen its sporting ambitions fully materialised in Athens.
Judoka Ariel Ze'evi has so far been the only Israli to secure an Olympic medal, and with one hopeful left in the games, chances of a strong showing in the league of medals have been wiped out.
The winning tortoise was duely crowned with a ring of Bougainvillia. And while most athletes are tempted across the finishing line by the lure of gold medals, these competitors were encouraged by the prospect of tasty morsels of fruit.
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