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Ask AJ Edelman Anything: DDF Member And Member Of The 2018 Israel Olympic Team! Hi guys,
Shameless but necessary plug.
My name is AJ Edelman, Israel's national skeleton athlete and longtime DD user.  I am training to try and qualify Israel for the 2018 Olympic winter games.
My indiegogo campaign just launched, and if you've been trying to hit some spend on your CCs while getting a tax deduction this might be a good opportunity.
Check out the campaign and videos:

Any suggestions on making the campaign a success would be most appreciated as well.
AJ Edelman, #HebrewHammer

August 10, 2015, 11:21:55 PM
3 or other place to get tefillin? I have unfortunately lost my tefillin on a recent trip (losing them likely in the UA lounge in Denver--Lost and Found reporting has not found them).  Which means i'm in search of a new pair.
I saw on that their Gassot tefillin ranges from lchatchilla to lchatchilla+ to mehudar 3-9*.  Does anyone have experience with hasofer or know of a good place to get tefillin that will last a long time but that im not losing an arm and a leg for?

September 18, 2016, 07:32:17 PM
Re: (plug) Tax deductible CC spend Opportunity--support the Israel Olympic dream thanks guys! Much appreciated. Just got back from Israel.  The team uniforms aren't as flashy as the USA, but i'll give you a sneak peak:

They're entirely polyester *shudders*

January 29, 2018, 05:27:26 AM
Competing in the Olympics
any idea what time your event is? NBC's schedule has the (qualifying round ?) as 8-11pm on 2/14 and gold medal at 8-1230am on 2/15

Out of curiosity (and no disrespect meant at all!) how do your times compare to the best in the world currently/world records?
No offense taken. Skeleton is 4 heats over 2 days. 2 heats per day. Top 20 are allowed to complete the second heat of day 2.
In terms of times, Skeleton is one of the hardest sports in the Olympics to Qualify for as it is limited to 30 Athletes of about 16 Nations. In 4 years with no coach and no funding whatsoever from the Israeli govt (hence unable to afford a coach), we've qualified. We are not in medal position. About a couple seconds back per run. Most of this is due to the sprinting start, as I am a terrific driver, but not a good sprinter. However, we are the only one at these games to have qualified in 4 years with no coaching, and no support, a task said to be impossible for us a few years ago. The qualification itself was a massive achievement, as we bested 14 other nations in rank to gain our spot. I'll be looking to beat a few more Nations in the games but we are not medal contenders (it will go Korea, Latvia, Germany likely, in that order).

January 30, 2018, 11:20:15 AM
Re: Competing in the Olympics
Amazing accomplishment!  When you say "we" do you mean that all 10 of the Israeli athletes are in the same situation, not receiving support?  Does the Israeli OC only support summer olympians?
I believe they receive a measure of funding, I'm not sure how much. It would be different for each athlete based on results or olympics appearances, and obviously figure skating has a budget as a program in general, whereby skeleton does not receive a budget.
By "we" I meant that I owe Israel everything, and act on behalf of the country and people. And so I refer to the accomplishment as Israel's, not my own.

January 30, 2018, 11:56:21 AM
Re: Ask AJ Edelman Anything: DDF Member And Member Of The 2018 Israel Olympic Team! In case anyone is interested I'm posting stories on my Snapchat (hgeek23) and Instagram (@israelskeleton)
February 06, 2018, 12:05:32 AM
Re: Ask AJ Edelman Anything: DDF Member And Member Of The 2018 Israel Olympic Team! Sorry guys I'm on an interview/q&a blackout until after competition Friday (Thursday evening new York, early morning hours Israel). I'll answer all unanswered questions after competition.
February 12, 2018, 04:05:14 AM
Re: Ask AJ Edelman Anything: DDF Member And Member Of The 2018 Israel Olympic Team! Promise I'll get to all the questions at least post shabbos. I have to pack up and leave the village b4 shabbos so all I can say right now is thank you for the support.
In terms of the pain, in honor of shabbos, a Kal vachomer on bishul "ayn ptzia achar pziah". Or is that a gzayra shava. Man I've been away from yeshiva for too long

February 15, 2018, 09:56:16 PM
Re: Ask AJ Edelman Anything: DDF Member And Member Of The 2018 Israel Olympic Team!
Awesome job AJ, I don't think I've ever cared to watch the skeleton before let alone being glued, watching the entire 2 heats! You are certainly accomplishing your goal, even the announcers say so :). Good luck in the next heat.
 I assume you cant answer now, but the announcers kept talking about how difficult this track is, are they right? Where would this track rank on our list of most difficult tracks?

The track isnt so difficult per say--it isn't whistler, where you risk death if you get it wrong.  What it is, is hard to get down fast.  the fast lines are very difficult to find, driving fast lines are hard here.
On the list of tracks that are hard to drive fast, this ranks up there because it's new.  For someone who had no coach at the Games, being sub-53 seconds on a 5.13 push was massive for me.  Really huge.  Being 52.35 on that final run while going airborne in the chicane was also huge.

February 17, 2018, 10:03:10 PM
Israel Bobsled/skeleton and parabobsled is recruiting! Hey guys!
It's coming closer to rosh hashana which means another winter sports season is soon upon us (most seasons open around motzei Sukkot.)
Israel Bobsled and skeleton is currently recruiting! If you're interested in getting back at your overly protective Jewish mother, or just like throwing caution to the wind and have an itch to represent the White and Blue, hit me up.  Since pyeongchang 2018 we have recruited 5 new athletes to the program in bobsled, parabobsled, male and female skeleton! Join us.

Edit: it is possible to compete as a shomer shabbos athlete. Most lower-tier competitions are held on Thursday/Friday or another 2-day pair, where you only need to do one of the races.

What is needed:
Parabobsled: nothing! Just a love of Israel. We'll teach you the rest.  Help Israel qualify for the 2022 Paralympic games!

Bobsled: ability to push something big, willingness to lose a few brain cells.

Skeleton: same as bobsled, but if you're into doing things solo, this is the sport for you.

What support do we have for you?
Unfortunately we can't provide any shekalim right now, we rely on fundraising.
You will come into a program with the major advantage of having the advice and remote coaching of an array of athletes who all love Israel. We've made the Olympics once, be our next Olympian!

Preferred skills are sprinting and weightlifting. If you don't think you can be an Olympic athlete or are looking for a part time commitment, we can set you up as well in international races with the goal of achieving what it is you're looking to achieve.

AJ Edelman OLY
Dansdeals reader, Olympian, Head of Program and athlete development for Israel Bobsled/Skeleton

August 12, 2018, 06:38:30 PM
Athletes needed (bobsled) Hey all,
Hate to ask again (asked last season,) but Israel Bobsled is looking for a couple of brakeman who would be interested in doing 4-man bobsled for the 2022 Olympic cycle.
This entails being on the "road" (Park City, Vancouver/Whistler, and Lake Placid) from October-March.  It's a serious push, just trying to line things up correctly, so if you or someone you know is an athletic, team-oriented, zionistic Israeli (or Jew looking to make Aliyah,) then please feel free to reach out.
Adam.edelman [at] olympian [dot] org, or whatsapp at 617-237-0242

This is the phase of getting a team lined up behind an already-experienced pilot in a program that has already made an Olympic debut, so we have the know-how and skill, but need teammates.  The skill necessary for recruits is being able to push something heavy quite fast, and a tolerance for discomfort, as it is not a thrill-ride by any stretch.  Good baseline metrics to go by would be a 30m sprint sub-4 seconds, a clean above 100+kgs (220+lb,) and a squat above 130kg (285lb.) There's time to train up so these are just for reference. Rugby, lacrosse, former track athletes and football players, etc. would make for promising candidates.

I am self-funding this thus far, and organizing it.  But as team members come aboard would need a sponsor.  If you know of any please also feel free to DM, though in the present economic climate, finding people is the number one priority.

Have a great shabbos!
AJ Edelman
Team Israel

April 17, 2020, 04:10:27 PM
BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread See above wiki
October 07, 2020, 01:14:00 PM
Re: Ask AJ Edelman Anything: DDF Member And Member Of The 2018 Israel Olympic Team!
For those following this thread, there is now a new leg of this journey:
Thanks Yitzy. Will post an update from Korea quarantine hell today

November 04, 2020, 11:20:20 PM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread Have a great shabbos, from a very draining government quarantine (we're assigned to different locations around Seoul, run by the army) here in Seoul.  Please don't hesitate to send me or the team any messages, we get a lot of chizzuk/strength from knowing people care about what we're trying to do.  Can DM here or send an email to

November 05, 2020, 01:13:16 PM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread It's turning into a wild ride

November 18, 2020, 11:58:32 AM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
This thread was read over 1000 times.  Your not talking to the wind. I love your updates and everyone here is rooting for you! :)
I really appreciate that!

Some people ask about food and keeping things kosher. Let me introduce my staple meal--I call it "slop."  It's the cheapest way to get a mix of protein/carbs/fats. I need to keep up my nutrients and protein but need to keep food costs as low as possible. This concoction helps with that :)

November 19, 2020, 08:56:38 AM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
Yup, definitely following the journey and appreciating the updates. Keep em coming!
With all the support def going to crush it. Thanks everyone. Have a great shabbos, good early morning from Korea

November 19, 2020, 12:38:17 PM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread

Brief update November 22, 2020 ahead of a *big* update later this week.
Have to plug this: I continue to search for sponsors as the season is only 7% funded as of now, and I'm a couple weeks from officially touching the debt I've taken on. If you know anyone who'd find value in helping the team please reach out.

November 22, 2020, 05:29:41 AM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread An important evening in the journey.

November 28, 2020, 05:28:00 PM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
How is your index finger doing?

Almost a full recovery. Still needs a couple weeks to grow back the skin but it'll be great b"h. Thanks so much for asking

A most Olympic x-ray, and I don't have a broken bone which was my biggest fear. I'm wary of muscle or ligament damage and will monitor.

20201202_115655 by AJ Edelman, on Flickr

December 01, 2020, 10:24:30 PM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
Video of the crash. Will break it down further later

Crashes are very common in bob, I heard that one of the teams training in Germany right now has just crashed 5x straight, so it's nothing to lose sleep over. Eager to get back to it. Thought I'd explain it a bit so people understand why a crash occurs.

The crash is an easy one to diagnose. I hit before the entry of the corner which sent me into it and angled up high. The corner has two distinct oscillations. Which now had exaggerated peaks and shortened widths. I compounded the issue by driving the sled very low on the downward portion.

At the end of the two oscillations there was still more corner because I had shortened the horizontal distance traveled so much. Centrifugal force pulled me back up as the corner ended and there was nothing for the sled to do but flip over.

Crashes are common in Bobsled and no reason to harp on this one, only noteworthy because of the realization that my sliding senses had dulled a bit. I made a mistake, a very common one in bob, but one I felt that the me from 19 months ago would never have made, and it came at a very high risk.  We'll be back though, that's what Israel does, and this will happen again. Perhaps a dozen or dozens of times.

Back to training on Friday, can't wait!

December 02, 2020, 08:10:32 AM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread

December 10, 2020, 07:37:00 AM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
I've been thinking the same.
Hope all is ok!

I'm very sorry that the last few weeks haven't had an update. Things have been harder than I thought they'd get to.

We had a couple of articles come out about the team. One in the New York Times that focused on the brain injury aspects of things and one in algemeiner which was quite nice.  The team has grown by leaps and bounds and gets faster every day. We are making huge progress and it's in many ways beyond what I thought I could see. I'm very proud of that.

Things get difficult on the road, but here things have just been mentally very tough. Our (my) bank account hit absolute zero and the season's only half over, which is obviously a source of stress but the biggest source has been managing the team. Depression has been something I have dealt with for 19 years--it's a life's mission of mine to talk to kids about how it motivates me, but it can make things really tough and in this circumstance it has. Nonetheless it hasn't actually impeded development, probably the opposite. But it burns the internal candle quite fast, and thankfully Israel and the mission is the oil that replenishes.

The Olympics require an immense, 24/7/365 dedication to a goal that is generally unobtainable. Being a very average athlete, below average I might say by Olympic standards, the only way to ever get Israel to the Games has been to work harder than anyone else. No matter what my athletic shortcomings, knowing that I outworked even the world champions gave immense pleasure and confidence. But that takes a toll, and the toll becomes very difficult to keep on top of if not everyone is pulling their weight. At the moment that is the largest issue, and one which ultimately means the team makeup might not be the same in the Olympic season.  That's all I can really say at the moment, but it's been crushing.

The self doubt has set in as it usually does on an Olympic run. "I'm not where I could be, I could be better," are constant thoughts. Bobsled is hard. Grueling. Physically it's exhausting. But I firmly believe Israel will benefit and that this will happen. I know it strongly in my heart. I just need to work harder and get better. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is the result. There's no "almost made the" Olympic Games event.

Usually I'm far more cheerful, but that's where things have been and why I've been quite quiet recently. I honestly don't know how the team will financially make it through at the moment and that's a really tough one.

Thank you for caring and being supportive. It means the world.

P. S. Since the first crash, in the 75 or so runs since, not a single crash

February 01, 2021, 12:58:44 AM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread Just had captured a few thoughts

February 01, 2021, 08:33:11 AM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread
It's one thing when things aren't so hard, just a bit challenging and not going smoothly when you persevere and keep the we will do it attitude.
But when you so honestly and in such a raw way spell out the real really hard challenges, and STILL keep up that we will do it attitude, OMG, WOW! Speechless!
Keep on inspiring us and bring home the victory!

Israel must make it. Israel will make it.

February 02, 2021, 11:05:03 AM
Re: BobTeam Edelman / 2022 Olympics thread Think you'll enjoy this.

Yesterday at 02:12:46 PM