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Published December 26, 2012, 08:56 PM

2012 WDAY Sports Favorites: Concordia swimmer’s military ties

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - We continue our look at our favorite stories from 2012; in February, Trevor Peterson met a swimmer at Concordia whose life experiences probably are unequaled among the entire Cobber student population.

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - We continue our look at our favorite stories from 2012; in February, Trevor Peterson met a swimmer at Concordia whose life experiences probably are unequaled among the entire Cobber student population.

After spending her whole life in Israel, Adva Aharonovich wanted to attend a liberal arts school in America. After a lengthy internet search, she settled on Concordia, becoming the only Jewish student at the Lutheran based school 6,000 miles away from family and friends.

Adva Aharonovich, Concorida Senior Swimmer: “I was building myself from scratch--social life, academics, even swimming was different.”

Fittingly Aharonovich, whose first name means "ripple" in Hebrew, swims for the Cobbers. She's turned out to be a solid 4 year contributor, mainly as a backstroker.

Julie Lucier, Concordia Swimming Coach: “She's a very hard worker, motivated to reach her goals...very determined. She's not someone I need to remind to "go for it" or "gimme your best today."

But there's also something else that separates her from most other students. After high school, Aharonovich, like every other Israeli girl, was required to spend two years in the military.

Trevor: “You trained civilians and soldiers? Does this look familiar? It's a mock M-16.”

Adva Aharonovich: “Oh yes.... Every girl learns how to shoot it. My job was to teach them to use it as a cold weapon, how to protect themselves. It's intense for girls that haven't done a lot of sport in their lives.”

Trevor: “Show me techniques you would use.”

Adva Aharonovich: “First thing is put it at shoulder height, take a stride and hit them in the face. You're doing this.”

Trevor: “What's another one?”

Adva Aharonovich:” When you feel someone behind you, go from here...Back!"

Trevor: “Do they usually make that noise, too?”

Adva Aharonovich: “I never had to do that...that's a good thing.”

Julie Lucier: “I've never seen her in a shooting or cold weapon training, but I know I’d never want to face her in a situation like that because she definitely has that fierce, tough side to her---a little sass--that the typical American student doesn't have.”

Trevor: “With your background, your training, were you more prepared that the typical college student athlete?”

Adva Aharonovich: “I think so. You learn a lot about responsibility and managing your whole life. When I came over here, I knew what I wanted to do so I was very focused. I think the military helped me do that.”

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