Yale’s Aaron Greenberg Redshirting Junior Year to Try to Make Israeli Olympic Team

Aaron Greenberg, who capped his sophomore season at Yale with a third-place finish in the 50 free and a seventh in the 100 free at 2015 Ivy League Championships, has elected to take the next year off to “pursue a lifelong Olympic dream.” Greenberg will move to Israel, where he has recently obtained citizenship, and train with the Israeli National Team. He is hoping to make Israel’s 2016 Olympic squad at their Trials next spring.

The project began to form in his mind after he represented the US in July of 2013 at the 19th Maccabiah Games. “After that, I became much more culturally attached to Judaism and became more culturally involved in my religion once in college,” Greenberg told SwimSwam. He began to pursue it much more seriously this spring. “This [idea] became a serious interest of mine after [2015] Ivy Championships, where I felt that I had a breakout season. I was able to get in contact with the [Israeli] coaches and they were very interested me coming.”

Once he made up his mind, Greenberg quickly put the plan in motion. He received dual citizenship on March 30, having qualified through the Law of Return in Israel. Immediately thereafter, Greenberg switched national swimming federations in order solely to represent Israel. That began the 12-month waiting period required by FINA prior to the first representation of the “new” country.

Greenberg will stay on at Yale to train with head coach Tim Wise at Omni Swim Club. His first competition as an Israeli citizen will be Israeli Nationals from August 11-15, where he will be representing Dolphin-Netanya Swim Club.

Beginning September 1, Greenberg will be training full time in Netanya at the Wingate Institute. He expects to be eligible to represent Israel for international competition in April 2016.

“I’d like to thank all my previous coaches, my current coaches Tim Wise and Kevin Norman, my teammates, and the Yale community for all of the help and support throughout my swimming career to this point, and for giving me the courage to pursue my dream of making the Olympics.” – Aaron Greenberg


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5 years ago

Good Luck, Aaron! Just don’t blow it like Max Jaben, who moved to Israel before the Beijing Olympics, and ended up testing positive for a banned substance…

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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