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August 2, 2012 10:13 am

Jewish Olympian Anthony Ervin Gets Closer to 2nd Gold in 50M Freestyle

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Anthony Ervin. Photo:

Anthony Ervin – the half-black, half-Jewish – Olympic swimmer advanced out of the 50m freestyle heat on Thursday morning in London, and will take part in the semifinals of the event later today.

The U.S. Olympian and former world record holder in the 50m freestyle, retired from the sport two years after winning gold in Sydney in 2000.

Now, the Los Angeles born Ervin, who has dealt with Tourette Syndrome his entire life, could be the second American male to win gold in a sprint swimming event in London.

“Hopefully I can make that happen in the next two swims,” he said on Thursday.

Ervin would join his countryman, Nathan Adrian, who won the 100m freestyle on Wednesday night, marking  the first U.S. men’s gold in the 100m freestyle in over two decades.

Shortly after winning in Sydney, Ervin auctioned off his gold medal and donated the proceeds to the UNICEF tsunami relief fund. After qualifying for the American squad in London, he told Rolling Stone his outlook had changed since the last time he competed at the Olympics.

“It’s like déjà vu,” Ervin says of qualifying for Team USA in the 50-meter freestyle event. “Except where once I was green, vain and ambitious, now I’m just grateful to be alive and bring joy to those I care about.”

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  • Allison

    I was under the impression that a person can never be half Jewish. I have been told that I have to convert even though my father is Jewish. Is that incorrect?

    • MBenFaivol

      My understanding was once confused by similar types of articles and speeches also. Please don’t let cavalier authors who write articles like this confuse two issues: Jewish biological linage an members of the Jewish covenant with God. The first is just a choice made by parents who may or may not value their gift of that covenant and who have chosen spouses that are at least receptive to others who belong to that covenant even though they had not joined. The second is a commitment of both of an individual’s parents to raise their children under that covenant. While much more can and should be said about that Jewish Covenant, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Circumcision and Confirmations are all acts that the individual undertakes in standing for and affirming their part as a member of the Covenant with God.

  • Chris Karstens

    Dear Writer-colletive of Algemeiner!

    “the half-black, half-Jewish -” Could you explain your characteristic writing style, please? It is unpleasant to read. In my oppinion it is not appropriate to write something like “half-Jewish” and is the more so with a term like “half-black”.

    Btw: he does not look half-black but rather coffee-latte or tan.
    2nd btw: there is nothing like a “half-Jewish” person on earth, by definition, only in Nazi-style speech/legislatur. You may consult any local on-hand rabbi on this problematic issue, please!

    No offence intended, though! Keep on with your good and rising publications!!
    Sincerely, Chris. Karstens, Berlin FR Germany.