Ofir Kremer, the current Israeli national champion, started her army service this week. Army service is mandatory in Israel for both men and women and athletes, even thos on the national team, are not exempt. However, they can recieve an “outstanding athlete” status which allows them to combine service and training. For example, Artem Dolgopyat won his World silver medal while being an active soldier. Even then, service is not a mere formality for these athletes. First, they have to go to an army camp for a three-month-long new soldier course. After that they recieve army jobs that reuire them working for half a day and they can spend the second half on training. Of course, this schedule leaves athletes quite tired and at a certain disadvantage since they can only train for a limited time. It means that the results they are able to achieve in such conditions are even more impressive. Kremer is still on the national team and is expected to return to the gym once her new soldier course is over.
Israeli Gymnastics Federation posted a photo of Kremer in front of an army recruitment center.