London – Olympic Swimmer Memorializes His Jewish Grandfather In Unconventional Way


    Members of France's 4x100m men's freestyle relay team Clement Lefert, Fabien Gilot and Amaury Leveaux cheer as their anchor Yannick Agnel swims the final leg, during the event final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre July 29, 2012. Gilot and his Hebrew tattoo can be seen on his left arm. Photo: ReutersLondon – French swimmer Fabien Gilot generated a lot of buzz this week at the 2012 Olympic Games. But it wasn’t just because he and his teammates won a historic gold medal for France in the 4X100 freestyle relay.

    Yediot Ahronot reports ( that Gilot surprised viewers in both Israel and across the world when they noticed Gilot had a tattoo written in Hebrew lettering. The tattoo, featured prominently on his left arm, reads: אני כלום בלעדיהם‎ “I am nothing without them.”

    Gilot explained that the tattoo is a tribute to his grandmother’s husband, Max Goldschmidt, a Holocaust survivor who witnessed and endured the horrors of Auschwitz and greatly influenced the Olympic champion.

    “Max was a Jew who survived the Holocaust and Auschwitz,” explained Michel Gilot, Fabien’s father. “He was born in Berlin and moved to France after the war. In Fabien’s eyes, he was a hero. He admired him and was very attached to him. He was a grandfather in every way.”

    Max died earlier this year, but he was aware of Fabien’s tattoo and his swimming accomplishments, according to Fabien’s father.

    The swimmer has other tattoos including one of the Olympic rings and one of three stars to symbolize each of his brothers.

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