When AJ Edelman tried out for the Israeli Olympic skeleton team at Lake Placid in 2014, he was told, flat-out, he’d never make it. Not only was he 30 pounds underweight, but the Israeli Olympic commitee wouldn’t support him, because Israelis didn’t care about the obscure winter sport in which an athlete slides down an icy track head-first as fast as 130 kilometres per hour.
It wasn’t the first time Edelman had been told he’d fail, and it wouldn’t be the last. In the end, the American-born Orthodox athlete did ultimately represent the Holy Land on his skeleton bobsled in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, though he retired shortly afterwards. Instead, he decided to plunge head-first into a different impossible-seeming task: reviving Israel’s dormant bobsled team.
Despite once again not receiving any support from the Israel, he’s nonetheless set a goal of qualifying for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. All he needs is a team. And funding. The dream may sound impossible, but as Edelman explains on this week’s episode of Menschwarmers, “impossible” is a challenge he’s happy to take on.
Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.