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Table-Tennis Star Chooses Shabbat Over Olympics

Table-Tennis Star Chooses Shabbat Over Olympics

The teenager had three chances to make the Olympic team.
The teenager had three chances to make the Olympic team.

She’s only 14, but earlier this month, Estee Ackerman became a member of a very exclusive club when the Shabbat-observant teen participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Her sport? Table tennis, in which she is ranked No. 14 in the country.

What is perhaps even more impressive is that Estee, who lost her first two chances to make the team in competitions on Thursday, Feb. 4, and Friday, Feb. 5, forfeited a final chance the following day because it fell on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest.

“I was disappointed; I love playing on such a big stage and the beautiful crowds that come to watch,” she said. “But as much as I love table tennis ... not playing on Shabbos is a greater reward…I feel I made the right decision. And it was a great feeling when I came back home to New York, and had my whole community supporting me and my decision.”

Estee Ackerman, 14, of Long Island, N.Y., competed earlier this month in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Table Tennis, which were held in Greensboro, N.C. She is currently ranked 14th in the nation.
Estee Ackerman, 14, of Long Island, N.Y., competed earlier this month in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Table Tennis, which were held in Greensboro, N.C. She is currently ranked 14th in the nation.

Estee lost the first two matches on a Thursday and Friday, and decided not to compete in the third one on Saturday. “I was disappointed,” she acknowledged. “But as much as I love table tennis, not playing on Shabbos is a greater reward.”
Estee lost the first two matches on a Thursday and Friday, and decided not to compete in the third one on Saturday. “I was disappointed,” she acknowledged. “But as much as I love table tennis, not playing on Shabbos is a greater reward.”

Estee with Rabbi Yosef Plotkin, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Greensboro, N.C., and three of his four children who came to cheer her on. The Ackermans make a habit of eating and staying with Chabad families when Estee travels for competitions.
Estee with Rabbi Yosef Plotkin, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Greensboro, N.C., and three of his four children who came to cheer her on. The Ackermans make a habit of eating and staying with Chabad families when Estee travels for competitions.


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Kylo Ren The First Order December 31, 2016

Nice Nice! Reply

Captain America Dallas, Texas, USA December 4, 2016

Humbling. Reply

Anonymous NC March 4, 2016

wow so brave amazing pictures and story Reply