Israel's Shahar Zubari led his country's team into the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday night, bearing the Israeli flag.
With a dyed-blue Star of David shaven into his hair, the 25-year-old windsurfer who brought home a bronze medal from Beijing in 2008, walked the Israeli delegation into the stadium.
Immediately after the team was shown on Israeli television, the faces of 11 Israeli Olympians who were slain in the Munich Massacre 40 years ago were shown. Their names were read out by the commentators and, following that, 30 seconds of silence were held in their commemoration.
This year, 38 athletes will represent Israel at the Olympic Games.The largest Israeli delegation in history was the one that traveled to Beijing in 2008, numbering 43 athletes. The smallest was sent to Melbourne in 1956 and numbered only three.
While Zubari and Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer participated in the athletes parade, several members of the Israeli delegation did not attend the opening ceremony out of concern that it wastes precious time and tires out athletes just before one of the most important moments of their career.
London 2012 marks Israel's 15th Olympic Games. The country has sent a delegation every year since its debut at Helsinki in 1952, except in 1980, when it participated in the American-led boycott of Moscow.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now