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Sabbath Holds Back Jewish Athlete In New Jersey

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Amalya Knapp (Photo/CBS 2)

Amalya Knapp (Photo/CBS 2)

88adams Sean Adams
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TEANECK, NJ (WCBS 880/CBS 2) - She has the skills, but Shabbas has left her without the scores.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports from Bergen County

Because of the Jewish sabbath, 7-year-old gymnast Amalya Knapp of Teaneck missed Saturday’s  New Jersey state competition.

Her family is Orthodox and she performed Sunday, but it was too late to count her score toward an individual title.

Her mother Chavie told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis the family would “have to forego” some competitions due to the cirumstances, but was not bitter.

“USA Gymnastics, from what I understand, has really been trying hard,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “They allowed her to be ranked just on paper, even though her name didn’t call out, and that really made a difference to her and I really appreciated that.”

Amalya would have ranked fifth.

Assemblyman Gary Schaer has now joined the cause for the young gymnast.

Amalya’s mother feels a dialogue has been opened and serious questions are being asked about how to make youth sports more accommodating for all.

What do you think of the issue? Should athletic organizations accommodate competitors’ religious customs or are those customs obsolete in the 21st century? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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