Marathon Runner Petitions Olympics Not to Hold Race on Shabbos

The giant Olympic rings are seen behind Japan’s national flag in Tokyo. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

An Israeli marathon runner has submitted a petition to the International Olympics Committee to reschedule a race so that it will not be held on Shabbos, according to Arutz Sheva.

Bracha “Beatie” Deutsch hopes to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, but not on August 7, 2021, which is a Shabbos. The IOC has previously rejected Deutsch’s request to take into account her religious beliefs when setting times for events.

Akiva Shapiro, a partner of Gibson Dunn, Deutsch’s lawyers, said: “We call on the IOC to uphold the values of the Olympics by providing reasonable accommodations for religious athletes.”

“Holding a women’s marathon on a day other than Saturday is a perfectly reasonable request that is consistent with historical practice…and will serve as a powerful demonstration of the motivating principles of the Olympic Games – promoting tolerance, equality, attitude and non-discrimination through sport,” said Shapiro.