The world’s best gymnasts need not be Eastern Europeans, says Linoy Ashram, Israel’ s champion Olympic gold medallist. What is more, they might well have their roots firmly in the Middle East.
Linoy Ashram 22, led the finals for rhythmic gymnastics for the first three rounds with almost flawless performances and clung to her lead, despite the mistake in her closing ribbon routine, to win with 107.800 points overall. This was the first time a Russian gymnast has failed to win the title since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Ashram was born in Rishon LeZion, Israel, to Israeli-born parents of both Mizrahi Jewish (Yemenite-Jewish) and Sephardic Jewish (Greek-Jewish) descent. Her father Oren is a standing army soldier in the IDF, whereas her mother Hedva is a kindergarten teacher assistant. She has a brother and a younger sister.