Jordan’s first Olympic champion is actually from Israel

Published August 21st, 2016 - 11:06 GMT
Jordanian Olympian Ahmad Abughoush was reportedly born in Israel. (credit:
Jordanian Olympian Ahmad Abughoush was reportedly born in Israel. (credit:

The first Jordanian athlete to win an Olympic medal is originally from Israel.  

Ahmad Abughoush, who won the gold medal in Taekwondo on Thursdan, was born in 1996 in the city of Abu Ghosh, which is a majority-Palestinian city within Israel’s borders. Some of Abughoush’s family members still reside there.  

Abughoush, 20, beat Russia’s Alexey Dinisenko 10-6 in the under-150-pound category, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a not-for-profit news agency. 

It was the first time in history that Jordan has won an Olympic medal, let alone a gold one.  

The town of Abu Ghosh sits just outside Jerusalem, and is known for its excellent hummus and a mega-mosque built with Chechen donations

The city’s leaders famously remained neutral during the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” which is the name many Palestinians use to refer to Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Some of the villagers reportedly aided Jewish forces during the war, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s report. 

Abughoush’s immediate family reportedly left Israel for Jordan not long after the now-famous athlete’s birth. 

Some Arab social media users were upset by Avi Mayer’s statement that Abughoush was “from Israel.” Mayer is a spokesman for Israel’s Jewish Agency and was previously a spokesman for the Israeli army. 

“SMH [shaking my head] Jordanian Olympian's family hails from Abu Ghosh,Palestine, a town well established before Israel even existed,” wrote one user. 

-Hunter Stuart

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