VIDEO / Olympic medalist Zubari sparks diplomatic incident after bad-mouthing Chinese
Sports Minister hastily apologizes after Chinese embassy cancels reception for Israeli Olympic team.
Olympic medalist Shahar Zubari stirred controversy when he called the Chinese, the hosts of last month's Beijing Olympics, "shits" in an interview over the weekend.
In response to Zubari's remarks, the Chinese embassy in Tel Aviv decided to cancel a reception it planned to hold in honor of the Israeli Olympic team on Wednesday.
Science, Culture and Sport Minister Ghaleb Majadele sent an letter of apology to the Chinese ambassador, denouncing Zubari's "irresponsible comments, that do not reflect the Israeli people's opinion of the Chinese nation."
Zubari's bronze medal for windsurfing was the only such award Israel's team achieved during the games.
Majadele also wrote that during his stay in Beijing during the Olympic Games the Chinese impressed him as a "cultured, polite, hospitable and friendly people."
"I hope Zubari's deplorable comment will not hinder the fruitful relationship between our two nations," Majadele concluded.
Majadele said on Tuesday that he intended to summon Zubari for a meeting.
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