Avital H. Selinger
Selinger was a two-time member of the Netherlands' men's volleyball Olympics team. He first appeared in the Olympics at the 1988 Seoul Games. In the preliminaries, the Dutch team defeated France (3-1), Tunisia (3-0), and Japan (3-0), but lost to the United States (1-3), and Argentina (0-3). Although they had the same record as two other teams, the Netherlands placed fourth in their group. They went on to defeat Sweden and Bulgaria to finish in fifth place.
Selinger returned to the Olympics four years later at the 1992 Barcelona Games, where he was coached by his father, Arie Selinger (a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame). In the preliminaries, the Netherlands team lost to Cuba (2-3) Brazil (0-3), and the Unified Team (1-3), but defeated South Korea (3-0), and Algeria (3-0) to finish fourth in their group and advance to the quarterfinals. The Americans were not expected to contend for a medal because of their poor showing in the preliminaries, but they surprised everyone by defeating the Italians in the quarterfinals (3-2), and then beating the powerful Cubans in the semifinals. They faced Brazil in the final, and lost the match in straight sets, but were awarded the silver medal. It was the first-ever Olympic medal for the Netherlands in volleyball.
Selinger, who was a member of the Dutch National Volleyball Team in the 1980s and 1990s, is currently coaching Japan's Hisamitsu Spring Attackers. In May 2001, Hisamitsu competed in the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Tournament, losing 3-2 in the final to China's Shanghai Cable TV (who won their third consecutive title).
Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 10, 1959
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
New York Times, September 28-September 30, 1988
New York Times, July 27-August 7, 1992