Estee Ackerman, a Sabbath-observant table tennis player from Long Island who failed to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil, came home this week with two gold medal from another prestigious competition.
Ackerman, 14, a West Hempstead resident who attends Yeshiva University High School for Girls, won first place in the Amateur Athletic Union’s Junior Olympics in Houston in two events – the under 16 girls singles division, and the under 16 girls doubles division, teaming with Amy Lu of Maryland.
Ackerman had defeated Lu in the singles final in the premier AAU competition that draws more than 15,000 athletes and coaches.
“Of course, she wished she could be in Rio,” said her father, Glenn. “She was still happy to win gold in the Junior Olympics.”
Ackerman was away at camp this week, serving as a counselor at Al Haderech, a Jewish travel camp in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens.
A high school sophomore, she was one of 16 women, of all ages, who had been invited to the U.S. Olympic Table Tennis Trials in Greensboro, N.C., in February.
Ackerman’s goal in 2020 is to compete in the Summer Games in Tokyo, her father said. Before that, she hopes to take part in the Maccabiah Games in Israel next summer.