(idea submitted by Becca B.)
Over the course of recent history there have been a handful of famous Jewish athletes who made name for themselves in water based sports. Arguably the most famous is Mark Spitz, the Olympic swimmer who made a name for himself in 1972 winning 9 gold medals. There are also more recent examples like Lenny Krayzelberg and Garrett Weber-Gale who both won 4 golds between 2000 and 2004, as well as Dara Torres, who converted. In skating the number of famous Jews is slimmer, with Sasha Cohen being the only recognizable household name. Skiing has even less, where any Jew would be hard pressed to come up with a name without the help of Wikipedia.
The reason why there are so few Jews in these events in general is not because of aptitude, it is because Jewish Young Adults simply prefer dry land. Even though JYAs will sometimes go to skiing weekends or the beach, the reality is that they would much rather prefer to remain on solid ground without the involvement of any combination of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. JYAs are much more apt to spend a summer afternoon playing softball/basketball/ultimate frisbee than at the local pool with the Goyim.
JYA “Jenna” explained her reasoning when responding to an e-vite for a ski trip for young adults organized by a local Jewish organization. “Being cold is something I try to avoid, not pay to do”, she stated, and then added, “My idea of a ski trip is drinking lattes in front of a fire… and maybe flirting with the snowboarders”.
Another JYA, “Melissa”, described the source of her aversion to water sports, stating “We went to Raging Waters one summer at Camp Ramah and I almost died underneath the mats at the bottom of the waterslide cause that fat kid Phillip piled on top of me”.
Whatever the reason, be it avoiding uncomfortable cold/wetness or a deeper psychological issue, JYAs of today tend to prefer staying on dry land. If you find yourself at a ski lodge and see someone who never leaves the lodge, odds are they are a JYA. If you find yourself at the beach and see a group of females who refuse to enter the water, odds are that they are JYAs. As Jenna’s mother succinctly stated “Honey, we’re Jews. We don’t move down icy mountains at high speeds.”