Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
U.S. Olympian Aly Raisman lit the torch at the opening ceremony of the 19th Maccabiah Games, which features a record number of nearly 9,000 athletes.
Thursday night’s ceremony at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem featured pyrotechnics and performances with hundreds of dancers and popular Israeli singers, as well as electric violinist Miri Ben-Ari. American “X Factor” runner-up Carly Rose Sonenclar sang “Hallelujah” joined by many in the crowd of 30,000.
“After winning medals and winning achievement, go tour Israel. This is your country,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a welcoming speech that alternated between English and Hebrew. “I’ll tell you the truth. I hope you and your families decide after this visit to come and live here.”
Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres rose and applauded as Israel’s blue-and-white-clad delegation of 2,270 athletes entered the stadium. The 1,100-member U.S. contingent wore red, white and blue sweatsuits with white baseball caps.
President Obama greeted the athletes via video, referencing the “unshakeable bond” between Israel and the United States.
Athletes from a record 78 countries will participate in 42 sports, as well as Paralympic events. Some 150 athletes who participated in the recent Olympic Games will be competing in the Maccabiah, the quadrennial event known as the Jewish Olympics.
Former Israeli Olympians carried a large Israeli flag into the stadium, each accompanied by a participant in the special-needs events.
Amitzur Shapira, an Israeli athlete at the Munich Olympics, recited the Yizkor prayer of mourning in memory of the nine members of the Israeli delegation who were killed in the 1972 Summer Olympics and the four Australian athletes killed in the the 1997 Maccabiah bridge disaster.
Paralympics tennis gold medalist Noam Gershony, four-time windsurfing world championship winner Lee Korzits, former Israel national soccer team goalkeeper Nir Davidovich and Israeli judoka Arik Ze’evi carried the Maccabiah torch into the stadium. They passed it to Raisman, an Olympic gold medalist, who lit the Maccabiah flame.
Earlier in the day, Peres at a meeting in his Jerusalem office implored New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire, a coach for the Canadian Maccabiah basketball team, “to join the Israeli National Team and be a part of our country.”
Stoudemire, a one-time all-star, met with Peres to present the educational project he has launched to promote in Israel — learning science through sports.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Arabs and Jews rallied together for co-existence Sunday at the Gush Etzion junction, joined by MK Yair Lapid.
Settlers, Sheikhs, Rabbis and secular politicians came together on Sunday evening for a joint prayer session at the Gush Etzion junction.
Israelis have broken the nation’s record for energy consumption in this week’s heat wave.
A 16-year-old girl has died of her wounds after being stabbed at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade.
Officials looked again at the sprouting wildfires after a terror victim memorial was torched in Mt. Hebron.
There is a new kind of arms race that involves producing the most impenetrable virtual fortresses of cybersecurity to resist catastrophic threats.
An Israeli citizen is killed in Thailand while traveling from Pattaya to Bangkok.
PM Netanyahu says Israel’s zero tolerance for terror distinguishes it from its neighbors.
They managed to collect $3,300 from ISIS recruiters, before they were caught by the Chechen police E unit.
Iran is already banking on the lifting of sanctions; vow to raise oil production to 1 million bpd.
A Gva’ot woman was hurt Sunday in a rock attack on her car by Arab terrorists in Samaria.
Israelis have been feeling the heat lately, and not only over tensions erupting from the Iran nuclear deal.
Wildfires again were raging in the Judean Hills around the Israeli capital this weekend. Even Sapir was evacuated as homes burned.
Arab violence failed to keep Jewish and Gentile tourists off the Temple Mount this weekend; Israel Police just kept rioters away instead.
More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]
“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.
Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.
Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/record-number-of-athletes-and-aly-raisman-at-maccabiah-games/2013/07/19/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: