After his hockey experiences through his tenure at MIT, AJ decided that he wanted to serve as an example and encourage broader Jewish and Israeli participation in sport, and that the best manner of doing so was to represent Israel on the world sporting stage. In October, 2013 AJ decided to pursue speedskating and bobsled, for which he assumed he would have natural athletic carryover from his tenure as an ice-hockey goaltender. After being informed that finding another potential Israeli athlete to pursue bobsled at the same time, as well as of the significantly higher expense for bobsled over skeleton, AJ tried the sport of skeleton and fell in love after his first trip down the track. AJ immediately committed to pursuing skeleton exclusively. AJ still works as a goaltending and skating coach, and hopes to start a foundation to encourage further investment in Jewish and Israeli sports programs to provide much-needed resources and coaching for prospective athletes to help them achieve success.
After discovering skeleton, AJ decided to focus on making the 2022 Olympic games while training part time, and attended his first training camp and race in November, 2014.
After being told that it would be impossible to accomplish an Olympic journey in 4 years (in time for the 2018 Olympic Games), Edelman shifted his focus towards proving that it could in fact be done, and departed Oracle to train full-time. Over the next 2 seasons AJ set Israeli track records at every track he competed at with the exception of the Whistler track.
Treating his mission as one of critical importance, Edelman trained non-stop, watching 6 to 8 hour of skeleton videos on YouTube daily to create neuropathways that would develop his driving skill. According to an interview with the Israeli state media channel GPO, Edelman would ensure to be at a skeleton track every Christmas and new-years day, explaining that “if you are not training on Christmas, your competitors will be…there is not a day that I went to sleep without doing something to better myself in my sport…I have a responsibility as a national athlete to not rest until I achieve a result for the state (Israel) that she can be proud of.” Edelman is nicknamed the “Hebrew Hammer”, a reference to the title character in the movie The Hebrew Hammer.
Edelman’s mission is Israel-centric, and every race prior to taking a run he repeats a mantra: “for myself, for my country, for my people”.
Edelman won 2 medals in international competition for Israel, both in Lake Placid in the 2018 North American Cup competitions.