‘This Is One of the Most Surreal Experiences I’ve Ever Had’: Israeli Olympic Champion Returns Home

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Israel's Rhythmic Gymnastics gold medalist Linoy Ashram poses with her medal upon arrival from Tokyo at Ben Gurion International Airport, today.
Israel's Rhythmic Gymnastics gold medalist Linoy Ashram poses with her medal upon arrival from Tokyo at Ben Gurion International Airport, today.Credit: MENAHEM KAHANA - AFP
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Haaretz

Rhythmic Gymnastics gold medalist Linoy Ashram received a hero's welcome upon her arrival in Israel on Wednesday.

"I don't know what to say," Ashram said, addressing the huge crowd of Israelis who welcomed her at Ben Gurion International Airport.

"This is one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had, I'll cherish it for the rest of my life," thanking the crowd of people who came to welcome her.

Ashram also congratulated fellow Israeli competitor Nicol Zelikman for her tremendous achievement, adding that they're both "still on cloud nine."

Ashram thanked their coaches Ayelet Zusman and Ela Samofalov.

Ashram won the gold medal after scoring 27.550 in the hoop routine and 28.300 and 28.650 in the ball and clubs disciplines respectively, beating the strongest competitors Dina and Arina Averina from Russia.  

Ashram's win marks the first time since 2000 that a rhythmic gymnast who is not representing Russia has won the gold at the Olympic Games.

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