I Am An Olympian: Laetitia Beck

Laetitia Beck is the only women's professional golfer from Israel who'll be playing in the Rio Olympics.

Released on 8/4/2016

Transcript

00:00
I will say that the Olympics for Israel
00:02
is something very important.
00:04
(light rhythmic music)
00:04
We are not a big country.
00:05
We don't have a very big team.
00:08
But, we still, you know, we try to do our best.
00:10
We try to bring medals and we're, you know,
00:12
Israelis are very competitive.
00:14
We're very tough, so we do wanna do well.
00:16
And, we do have great athletes
00:18
and I think we really wanna show the world that.
00:31
So, I've been playing sports since a very young age.
00:33
I was very active, so I was doing so many different sports.
00:37
I remember when I was around 10,
00:40
playing, you know, with the kids, with the boys,
00:42
some small tournaments and going to class.
00:44
And there was a big commentator, sports commentator
00:49
from Israel that he was good friends with my parents
00:52
and I started playing with him very often
00:54
and he was the one really pushing.
00:57
So, when I was 12 years old, the head pro in Israel
01:00
recommended my mom to sign me up
01:01
for the Israeli Championship
01:03
because I never played a big event.
01:04
I'd play with the kids but those weren't some small events.
01:07
And, somehow I ended up winning out of nowhere,
01:10
this girl, tiny girl, 12 years old with the trophy.
01:14
So, that was strange and obviously exciting.
01:19
Growing up, we only had two clubs.
01:21
One had the 18-hole golf course.
01:22
That's where I live.
01:24
And the other one's a nine-hole.
01:26
You know, you're at a age where you should probably take
01:28
something seriously and maybe, you know, become
01:30
professional athlete.
01:32
That's when we started looking around and seeing
01:34
if there was a better place for me to go
01:36
to get training.
01:38
I went actually to the States to IMG Academy.
01:41
I stayed at the high school for four years.
01:45
I eventually got a, you know, offer to go to Duke,
01:48
obviously a huge opportunity to get
01:50
a great education, free golf.
01:53
So, I went there for four years.
01:55
I would say that my greatest accomplishment in this game
01:59
so far would be being able to leave home
02:03
(mumbles) the age of 14, going to high school in the States
02:06
for golf, finishing with a college degree,
02:10
and right after getting my LPGA card.
02:12
That was pretty exciting and special, I think.
02:15
For me, the Olympics it's gonna be an opportunity,
02:17
obviously to represent Israel on the biggest stage.
02:19
I'm the first one from Israel on a playing tour
02:24
in the States, in Europe, anywhere.
02:27
We never really had anybody representing
02:29
or playing from Israel.
02:31
It has been interesting working on the Olympics
02:33
and just working on the logistics and uniform and bag.
02:38
So, I get a lot of support from my federation
02:40
and the Olympic Committee, but it's all new to all of us.
02:43
So, there's some things they don't know,
02:45
some things obviously I don't know anything
02:46
'cause it's new for me.
02:48
I'm very lucky to have a federation and Olympic Committee
02:51
that does allow me for freedom to do what I want
02:56
in my uniform and bag.
02:57
So, my goal was through the bag to represent
03:00
not only country, but also culture,
03:03
the Jewish culture.
03:04
On the side it says Israel in Hebrew and in English.
03:08
Some of the pattern, the Star of David pattern
03:11
and the Israeli flag and my name right there.
03:14
So, I'm blue and white and I'm overall satisfied with it.
03:19
(gentle rhythmic music)
03:21
(golf ball clacking)
03:24
This is just a beginning for me
03:26
and once I do the next few things that I wanna accomplish
03:30
then can talk about how amazing that is.
03:33
(lively rhythmic music)
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