My Story | Israeli-American Skeleton Athlete

Jared Firestone Jewish-American Skeleton Athlete

I am a proud South Floridian who was always involved in both athletics and my local Jewish community while growing up. I attended Scheck Hillel Community School and then Pine Crest School, where I discovered my talent and love for Track & Field, going on to win a district championship in the 100 meter dash and setting several school records.

Around this time, I saw Steven Spielberg's "Munich", which details the horrific massacre of 11 Jewish athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games. This movie impacted me greatly as I had always held a strong connection to Israel and the Jewish people. This connection was instilled from a young age through family, community, my time at Scheck Hillel, and my 2008 March of the Living trip, which emphasized the importance to me that the Jewish people have a land we can call our own. After the March, I knew I wanted to do more to both support Israel, and to educate those around me about the horrors of the Holocaust. After seeing "Munich" I realized that as an athlete, competing for Israel would be a most fitting platform to do just that, while also honoring the 11 athletes who were killed in Munich.

Throughout my Track career at Tulane University, I always kept this dream in the back of my mind, but after graduating, I traded in my track spikes for law books and began my studies at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in NYC. Just as I was getting into the rhythm of my first semester, I suffered a Transient Ischemic Attack, effectively a “minor stroke”.  

Coincidentally, my hardship fell during the 2014 Winter Olympics. While recovering from my TIA, I discovered the sport of Skeleton. After some research I decided, rather than having my face buried in Torts and Constitutional Law books, it should be buried in ice as I slide under 5-G's of pressure at 80 miles per hour!

Shortly thereafter, I found myself at a sliding school in Lake Placid, NY.  Upon graduating from law school, I took both the Florida and New York State Bar exams to complete my legal education.

Now, with law school and two Bar admittances under my belt, I headed up to Lake Placid to join the Team USA Skeleton Developmental Program full-time. After three seasons in the USA program, I finally knew I was ready to represent the Magen David.

I applied for Israeli citizenship, and formally joined the Israel Bobsled & Skeleton Federation in April of 2019. Ever since, I have been more inspired and motivated than ever to represent Israel in the 2022 Olympic Games.

I will begin competing for Israel internationally beginning this October, and I could not be more excited. I am now spending the off-season training in South Florida, while also working in Real Estate sales in order to help fund my upcoming season.