Save the Pool

Haim Watzman I haven’t been blogging because I’m busy saving the Jerusalem Pool. This venerable and unique South Jerusalem facility is in danger of being closed down and turned into a parking lot by a developer. I work out at the pool daily and it’s been an inspiration to me as a writer, too (see. … Read more

Pioneer in the Swim — “Necessary Stories” column from The Jerusalem Report

Haim Watzman I am standing on the edge of the pool, in my Speedo swimsuit, feeling like a Second Aliya pioneer determined to speak only the language of their forefathers. It’s Sunday night, Masters Swim Group, Jerusalem Pool. I’m about to swim three kilometers. My swimming is as bad as the typical pioneer’s Hebrew was, … Read more

Swimming Like Natalie du Toit

Haim Watzman

I’ve got some things in common with Natalie du Toit, a South African athlete competing in this year’s Olympics. We’re both swimmers. And we’re both amputees.

That’s where the similarity ends. Du Toit swims every 1,000 meters of her ten-kilometer race far faster than I can swim 500 meters on a good day. And she lost her left leg from the knee down after a motorcycle accident; a bout of Group A Strep I suffered nearly twelve years ago cost me all ten of my toes–a far less significant handicap. (Even when I had my toes, I didn’t get much thrust out of my kick.)

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