Queens, New York Two-time Junior Olympic Gold Medalist Estee Ackerman received a New York State Assembly Citation from Assemblyman David Weprin at the Yeshiva University High School for Girls in Hollis, Queens. Ackerman, a high school sophomore with a talent for table tennis, won first place in the 2016 Amateur Athletic Unions Junior Olympics in two events; the under 16 girls singles division and the under 16 girls doubles division. She also competed in the U.S. National Table Tennis Championships since 2012 and holds the rare accomplishment of beating tennis superstar Rafael Nadal in a game of ping pong in 2013.
As an orthodox Jew, Ackerman chose to observe the Sabbath this past February while participating in the US Olympic Trials, forfeiting her final opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics as a result. Weprin, noticing this extraordinary show of faith, compared Ackerman to baseball legend Sandy Koufax. Weprin said Estee in my opinion is the Sandy Koufax of Table Tennis. Back in 1965, Sandy Koufax sat out Game 1 of the 1965 World Series for Yom Kippur. But he did pitch Game 7 of the World Series and won the title for the LA Dodgers. Keeping that in mind, 2020 is not too far away.