I am proud to be Austrian-American. I have been blessed with an amazing opportunity to not only embrace my heritage, but with a new opportunity to promote unity for us all.
"Austria Extends Citizenship to Descendants of Victims of Nazi Persecution. On September 19, 2019, the Parliament of the Republic of Austria unanimously approved an amendment to the Austrian Nationality Act (sec 58c) in line with Austria’s ongoing endeavor for reconciliation with all those who suffered under the totalitarian Nazi regime in Austria.” The Austrian Nationality Act came into effect on September 1, 2020.
As a lot of you know, my grandparents were forced to flee during the holocaust. My grandmother, Elfi Hendell, was born in Vienna, Austria. My late grandfather, David Hendell, was in Yugoslavia; and the region he was from is now known as Croatia. Both of my grandparent’s families safely made it to Rome after trekking and hiding for years in Italy. My grandmother's journey to Italy was nothing short of miraculous. Her sister, Marion, who was two years old at the time had to remain quiet to not draw attention to them on the train. Their lives were on the line, so it was imperative they stayed incognito while traveling to safer land. In Rome, in July of 1944 both of my grandparents' families were lucky enough to get chosen to go on a US transport ship named U.S.S. Henry Gibbins. One thousand people, through a lottery system were chosen to go on this ship. My grandparent's families were friendly and my grandfather's parents actually convinced my grandmother's family to take this boat to safety. Even though the waters were unsafe and it was a massive risk, they decided to go. The journey took 20 days to the United States.
I’m so grateful for what Austria went through to create this Act and the opportunities that it gives not only to me, but to the Jewish community around the world.
I want to use my little platform to bring attention to all the horrible things that have happened in the past, and that unfortunately still continue today.
My logo represents Unity, which is what I hope to see in the world.
If you would like to read more about my grandmother's story, she was featured in the NY Times article below. My grandfather unfortunately was no longer with us when this article was published, but he also went on to Oswego, NY; which is when my grandparents started dating! https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/nyregion/oswego-jewish-refugees-world-war-two.html
Also a great write up on my grandfather, who went on to become one of the best dentists in NY! https://www.oswegocountynewsnow.com/news/from-the-safe-haven-refugee-camp-to-the-bright-lights-of-nyc/article_f0d2d7ae-fa14-11e6-b7bd-abb25920e720.html
•2x Bronze Medalist at 2023 World Championships
• 8th in the World Overall Mogul Standings 22/23
• ABOM Champion 2022
• Austrian Ski Team Member 2022
• Overall 2018 Nor-Am Grand Prix Champion
• 14 NorAm podiums (Five 1st place finishes)
• 3x Gold Medalist @ US Selections
• 2020 Silver Medalist US Nationals 2017 & 2018
• 2015 Junior World Championships Silver Medalist
• Overcame knee injury 2018-2020
• U.S. Ski Team Member 2018-2021
• Ambassador for the Keep Her in the Game program; keeping girls in sport
As you know there is nothing free about freestyle! If you would kindly like to help contribute to help fund my athletic career I will be forever grateful. There is a headline above that will take you to my donations page. Thank you!