Vegan swimmer makes a splash at major event

| 12 April 2023
minute reading time

Or Tal is an Israeli competitive swimmer who has been making a splash ever since he jumped into the pool as a child.

During his childhood, Or competed in the Junior category at the Israeli nationals. From age 16 he started winning medals every time. His strongest stroke is freestyle, taking on the 50, 100, 200 400 and 800 metre distances.

In 2021, aged 19, Or won the 400 metre freestyle in the senior category.

In 2022, Or took 4th in the Nationals over 5000 metres. Soon afterwards he entered the Emek Hefer competition which attracts elite swimmers from across Israel. He took individual Gold in three distances and helped his team win mixed relay Gold.  He was also awarded the title of outstanding competitor.

He returned to Emek Hefer in 2023 and took Gold on the 200 metres and Silver in both 100 metres and 50 metres.  Once again, he was awarded outstanding competitor. His 200 metres win of 1:50:95 gave him Gold and an international ranking score of 776. He followed this with 50 metres in 23:47, and second in the 100 metres with a time of 51:34.

Still only aged 21, Or has been vegan since the age of nine. His family decided to make the change, mainly to avoid harming animals. It’s something he’s come to support and benefit from, and he sticks to this at home and when travelling. “We love animals and don’t want to harm them,” he says.

“I love animals – they’re just like us – people – they are smart, they have feelings and they have families. I’m not going to eat them especially when I know that you can be very strong and be a great athlete with this [plant-based] nutrition.”

Content and featured image sourced and adapted with permission from Great Vegan Athletes.

About the author
Nicholas Hallows
Nicholas has been vegan since the early 2000s and worked for Viva! between 2017 and 2020 as a Senior Administrator and Web Content Assistant. He is a qualified teacher, specialising in Language and Literacy, and an accredited Proofreader and Editor. He is now a freelance writer covering topics including veganism, mindfulness and minimalism.

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