Israeli Olympic team gets ultimate insult when fellow competitors learn they have to share bus

Someone should tell the Lebanese athletes that the Olympic games aren’t about politics — they’re about nations coming together in the spirit of competition and sportsmanship.

For that matter some one should tell the International Olympic Committee.

On Friday, the Lebanese team was waiting on the bus to take them to the opening ceremony when the Israeli team arrived and attempted to board the same bus.

The Lebanese wouldn’t have it.

There are no diplomatic relations between the two countries — they’re at war. But that shouldn’t affect the athletes although it did in this case.

Although Israel insisted that the two teams sit together, the committee separated them and they arrived at Rio’s Maracana stadium in different buses.

The BBC reported:

Head of the Lebanese team Salim al-Haj Nicolas told AFP news agency he demanded that the door be closed on the Israeli team, but they “insisted on getting on”.

Udi Gal, a member of Israel’s Olympic sailing team, said on Facebook his compatriots “insisted on boarding the bus” adding that “if the Lebanese refused to stay with us, they were welcome to take another bus”.


Gal reported that when the driver opened the bus door to allow the Israeli team to enter, the “Lebanese delegation head body blocked” the entrance, and called the incident shameful.

“How could they let this happen on the eve of the Olympic Games? Isn’t this the opposite of what the Olympics represents?” he asked.

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People were saddened by the news.

And Lebanon’s action went beyond the bus and into the gymnasium.


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