Beijing 2022: Israel’s bobsled team listens to Kiriasis’ command

Beijing 2022: Israel's bobsled team listens to Kiriasis' command

sHe had given himself two nights to sleep in order to accept the blissful challenge. Former world-class pilot, 46-year-old Sandra Kiriasis, who has been retired from the sport for seven years, is to train bobsled drivers from Israel and take them to the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. It would be the first time athletes from the Jewish state started with a heavy sled at the world’s most important sporting event.

The sender of the proposal, posted on Instagram, was 30-year-old Adam Edelman. The Boston-born Israeli met Kiriasis at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang in February 2018. She had approached him on the track because, driven by curiosity, she wanted to know why his kippa remained firmly on his head while running. Edelman sailed through the ice channel with his skeleton, landed 28th and then four years later had the bold idea of ​​being the first in his country to run a bobsled through the breakneck maze in Beijing. The sports-lover thought that Kyriasis would provide him with the necessary knowledge. He always admired her because of her driving skills.

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Edelman’s message reached Kiriassis on a glorious summer day. She warmed his heart even more, but she really didn’t want to believe that she had been chosen for this interesting job. After 48 hours of consideration, he decided to decline the offer. However, your decision should not be final.

Kyriasis didn’t believe it at all

When he told WELT AM SONNTAG about his “secret” on the roof of his house in Pottam/Rhineland, July was drawing to a close. The sun shone mercilessly. But it was not so much the tropical temperature as internal strife that made the entrepreneur, who works in health management, sweat on his forehead.

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At the time, she said, she wanted to devote herself to this task, but she didn’t have a good feeling about it. You don’t trust all this. However, she couldn’t really explain her discomfort. “Why,” he asked himself repeatedly, “do you really want me?” He is not the most experienced, and after all there are other trainers. This was true, but the petitioner from the Middle East was not satisfied with his disapproval and responded immediately.

Her biggest victories: Sandra Kiriasis (left) and Anja Schneiderheinz celebrating Olympic gold in 2006

Her biggest victories: Sandra Kiriasis (left) and Anja Schneiderheinz celebrating Olympic gold in 2006

The: PA / DPA / DPAWeb / EPA Mirco Guariello

Edelman, a mechanical engineer everyone calls AJ, continues like a prayer wheel trying to change the mind of the 2006 Olympic champion. The fact that Kyrias made headlines at the Winter Games in South Korea as coach of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Riders, whom he helped make their Olympic debut, did not go unnoticed.

He stood by his side with encouraging text messages when he was dropped from his team before the competition began after discrepancies with the Caribbean State’s Association seniors.

Jamaica still owes him a huge amount

“I’m really sorry for Sandra, and I know she wasn’t to blame for the whole theater,” said Edelman, breaking a spear to the Saxon woman. The islanders still have to pay a five-figure sum for their commitment to Kiriasis. But it has now been settled for him, notes the record world champion (seven title wins) and overall World Cup winner (nine wins). After the second phase, thanks to Edelman’s patient persuasion, she finally felt encouraged to agree to the “Israel Project”.

“The guy doesn’t work at all”: this is how the feud with the Jamaicans really went

Shortly before the bobsled competitions, a scandal erupted in the Jamaican team at the Winter Olympics. At the center of the controversy: Trainer Sandra Kiriasis. In an exclusive interview, he revealed why the situation escalated. She also talks about the encouragement, hurt respect, and the dismal reaction of her former club.

“I realized that they were not interested in Halligalli, but were serious about bobsledding,” Kyriasis justified his reconsideration, which Edelman encouraged with the aphorisms inspired by his teammates: “We believe in you. And are convinced that you are our ideal coach.” Words followed action. Just days after she said yes, she had a contract ready for signing – dated to March 2022.

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Sandra Kiriasis with Jazmine Fenlater-Victorian and Carrie Russell in Bob Jamaica

In mid-September, Kiriasis flew to Calgary, where he was eagerly awaited by Israeli athletes. At artificial ice rinks in North America, they want to not only get in shape for the competitions starting February 4 in the Chinese capital by Christmas, but also collect the points needed to qualify for the season highlights in the races there. . They will spend the rest of the week in Europe before leaving for China. In addition to the Edelman, which sits on the steering ropes, the sextet also includes five pushers.

Two days after Kyriasi’s arrival in Canada, he completed his first training session under the new coach, with whom he wrote history: Bobsleigh had never had a men’s national team coached by a woman.

Edelman in debt for his dream

After nodding to its Maudlin lineage at “Jungle Camp” in early 2019, Kyriasis now feels most comfortable going where it has found the most acceptance. However, the circumstances in which she would like to turn young Hot Spurs into competitive bobsled athletes are nothing but performance-enhancing.

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Contrary to what is customary in this country and as she certainly experienced in her glamorous career, the crew members have to be paid for everything they do. When buying a bobsled or runner, whether for transportation, accommodation, treatment by doctors or physiotherapists – they always arrive in their pocket. The association is unable to cover the expenses.

Bob Israel - The team has fun training.  and a lot of work to do

Bob Israel – The team has fun training. and a lot of work to do

Source: Sandra Kiriasis

To make himself and his team’s dream a reality, Edelman, who taught himself how to ride a skeleton without a coach, borrowed 300,000 euros, only by studying videos on YouTube. The passionate bodybuilder tries to make money with a five-minute promotional film. A crowdfunding campaign is about to start soon. The adventure will cost enthusiasts half a million euros, who have meanwhile traveled to Whistler for the 2010 Olympic track.

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“Sandra is our compass that will guide us to Beijing,” said association head David Greaves. Everything is going well so far, enthuses Kiriassis, whose hero may be her son. Likewise, they behave respectfully towards their “mother”, as everyone affectionately calls her.

Sandra Kiriasis and her Athletes - With a lot of commitment to the dream

Sandra Kiriasis and her Athletes – With a lot of commitment to the dream

Source: Sandra Kiriasis

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