(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Following are Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s remarks to Gal Fridman who won a gold medal earlier today (Wednesday), 25 August 2004, in the men’s windsurfing competition at the Athens Olympics:

“I wanted to congratulate you, Gal, for the gold medal that you won, the State of Israel’s first gold medal, as well as your outstanding coach, Gur Steinberg, the exceptional team that was with you, and your excited family.

Gal, an entire nation held its breath this afternoon during your last race. We were all excited to see you win and to see you wave the Israeli flag.  We always knew that you were worthy of a gold medal, and today you achieved it.

The security and emotional calm that you showed throughout the competition were exceptional and have earned you an honored place in Israeli and world sporting chronicles.  You are truly a great athlete and the entire nation shared your joy today and is proud of you – very, very proud of you.

Thank you again from all of us and good luck as you continue your sporting path.  You have our warmest congratulations.  We are waiting to see you and I am certain that you will be successful in the future.”