By Lionel Gaffen - Retrieved from http://www.jpost.com/Sports/Article.aspx?id=5546
The Israeli bobsled team, a.k.a. the "Frozen Chosen" have chosen to defrost this year away from the slopes. Team pilot Aaron Zeff, the team pilot, John Frank, and coach Ross Dominikovich, the founding members of the Israeli bobsled team, together with David Greaves, Moshe Horowitz and Andy Teig make up the team lineup. In just two full seasons of competition, they had catapulted themselves into the elite ranks of the sport, and have already taken part in two World Championships.
"No sliding this season, and we're extremely disappointed." is the word from David Greaves, who was hoping to represent Israel at February's winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. "We made the decision based on a number of factors, mainly due to the realization that no support would be forthcoming from the Israeli Olympic committee, together with changes in the family situations of most of our members."
Zeff, one of the founding members of the Israel Bobsled Federation was more direct. "Our season was basically scuttled by virtue of the fact that in order just to compete this year and to have any kind of shot at making these Olympics, we needed a letter from the Israeli Olympic Committee so that we could take part in the qualifying Challenge Cup in Europe, in order to achieve ranking and eligibility, and it wasn't forthcoming. "Once that wasn't made available to us, the rationale to compete this season no longer existed, as it also meant that we wouldn't be able to take part in the World Championships."
While the team has been very successful in the America Cup competitions during previous seasons, which earned them the right to compete in the World Cup events and ultimately, the World Championships during the past two seasons, recognition by the Israel O.C. has been a non-starter.
"Until now", Zeff continued, "We've exceeded all of our expectations, and during the coming year, we hope to be able to present the Israeli O.C., and other governmental agencies involved in these decisions. "We have a complete four year plan, in order to begin preparing the Israel Bobsled Federation to have a team ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver, Canada.
"We hope to recruit some more of the younger Israeli athletes like Moshe Horowitz, [brakeman during this year's World Championships] who lives in Jerusalem, in order to continue growing and developing."
The high point of the team's career was in reaching their first World Championship, that took place in the historically poignant town of Konigssee, Germany, a glance away from the site of Hitler's "Eagle's Nest" stronghold in the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden. Sliding to the applause of elderly Germans who appreciated the bittersweet significance of seeing an Israeli bobsled team competing at that location was a tremendously emotional experience for the team.
"I'm making plans to come to Israel this summer. I will spend time recruiting, and will make a special visit to the Canada Center where we have our first bobsled on permanent display, to give the youngsters of Israel a better idea of what bobsledding is all about." concluded Zeff.