Waves FencingPole vaulltWrestling Sharon

  • Issue: June 1996
  • Designer: R. Sadeh
  • Stamp size: 25.7 x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 280 - 282
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

10,000 sportsmen and women from 197 countries will participate in the Centennial of the modern Olympic Games to be celebrated from July 19 to August 4 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It was Pierre de Coubertin, a French Baron, who first proposed the idea of a modern Olympic Games at an international congress for physical education, at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1894. Two years later, the first Games took place in Athens, Greece. Israel first took part in the Olympic Games in 1952, in Helsinki. Since then Israel has taken part in all the Games, with the exception of the Moscow Games in 1980. Tragedy struck the Israeli delegation at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, when 11 of her sportsmen, coaches and referees were murdered by Arab terrorists at the height of the competitions. It was in the judo competitions at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 that Israel succeeded in winning her first Olympic medals.

Pole Vault

Pole vaulting was a part of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. There the American pole vaulter, William Hoyt, won his gold medal with a vault of 3.30 meters. In recent years, Sergei Bubka from the Ukraine, has succeeded in breaking the world record several times, and his current record is 6.14 meters.

Recently, pole vaulting has also become popular among women. Son Kayon, the reigning women's world champion, who hails from China, has set a record of 4.28 meters. The standard of pole vaulting in Israel was poor until the immigration of Jewish pole vaulters from the USSR radically changed that. One of their number, Danny Krasnov, was placed eighth in the 1992 Barcelona Games and has vaulted 5.75 meters.

Women's Fencing

Women's foil fencing as an Olympic sport began in the 1924 Games where the Gold Medallist was Jewish: Ellen Osier from Denmark. The outstanding Jewish fencer in later years was Ildiko Ujlaki-Rejto, from Hungary, who won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964 and a bronze medal in Mexico in 1968. Israel has been represented five times in Olympic Fencing, the two major Israeli women fencers being Nih Drori (1976, 1984) and Lydia Hatuel-Zuckerman (1984, 1992), who will be making her third Olympic appearance at Atlanta.


Wrestling matches last for a total of five minutes, during which time each wrestler tries to force his opponent to the ground and pin his shoulders down. There are two major styles of wrestling - the Greco-Roman style and the Freestyle. The main difference between them is that Greco-Roman wrestling permits holding the top half of ones opponent body only, while in Freestyle wrestling you may also grasp your opponents legs. Since a wrestler's weight is a crucial factor to his winning a fight, wrestlers are all categorized into one of ten weight classes. Heavyweight wrestling matches have been a part of the Olympics since the Athens Games, a hundred years ago.

Wrestling was a serious sport in Israel even before the establishment of the State, as a number of major wrestlers from central and eastern Europe had made their home here. Later many Israelis also took to this masculine sport and it received an additional impetus following the immigration from the USSR in the Seventies. Israel has been represented four times (in 1972, 1976, 1988, and 1992) in the Olympic wrestling competitions.

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Atlanta 1996