Jewish ice dancer from Michigan wins silver

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Jewish ice skater Charlie White and his partner, Meryl Davis, captured a silver medal at the Winter Olympics in ice dancing.

The University of Michigan students, who both hail from suburban Detroit, finished two spots ahead of fellow Americans and 2006 silver medalists Ben Agosto and Tanith Belbin. Agosto, a Chicago native, also is Jewish.

In the same competition, which concluded Feb. 22, the Israeli brother-and-sister ice dancing team of Roman and Alexandra Zaretsky finished 10th. The natives of Belarus skated to “Hava Negillah” in the original dance category Feb. 21 and to music from “Schindler’s List” in the free dance the next night.

Another Israeli athlete, Latvian-born Mykhaylo Renzhyn, finished 55th in the men’s giant slalom Feb. 23. Renzhyn, who also is set to compete in the slalom on Saturday, Feb. 27, became the first alpine skier ever to represent Israel when he competed in the Turin Games in Italy in 2006.

Among U.S. Jewish athletes, 23-year-old biathlete Laura Spector of Massachusetts finished 65th in the women’s 15-km individual event and 77th in the women’s 7.5-km sprint. The biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.

The American Jewish athlete with the best shot at gold might be Steve Mesler, a Buffalo, N.Y., native and a member of the favored U.S. four-man bobsled team. That event is scheduled to begin Friday, Feb. 26. — jta & ap