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Way Harsh, Israel

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Tamar Katz helped Israel qualify for its first-ever ladies Olympic figure skating spot.  But Israel's internal rules deem that Katz is just not good enough to go to the Olympics - so the nation has ceded its spot to Australia.

According to the New York Times:

Tamar Katz, the three-time national champion, met the International Skating Union’s standards for Olympic eligibility. But the Olympic Committee of Israel has a rule that says a skater must place among the top 14 at the European championships to earn a trip to the Olympics, the group’s president said. Katz finished 21st at the recent championships in Tallinn, Estonia.

“This issue is not about resources or gender — it’s purely professional,” Efraim Zinger, the secretary general for the Israeli Olympic Committee, said in a telephone interview. “We set the target about two years ahead of time for our athletes. Those who don’t make it must stay back. Some countries’ main goals are to participate, some send their athletes to win. We are interested in our athletes reaching the top.”

Apparently, Katz was also hampered by a viral infection that kept off the ice for a few weeks leading up to Europeans.  What an interesting set of rules by Israel - why wouldn't you want your athletes to gain Olympic experience? 

The winner in all of this is Australia's Cheltzie Lee, who will receive the Olympic slot that had been Israel's, per the Grant Israel.