The 20th World Maccabiah Games were a celebration of Jewish pride, unity, and athleticism. They provided a platform for athletes to excel in a sporting competition in the beautiful State of Israel, while also forming relationships with other Jewish athletes from around the world.
Team USA came home with 368 medals; 94 gold, 128 silver, and 146 bronze. We saw outstanding performances by our athletes and watched our coaches lead our teams to many victories. The Open Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams came to the Maccabiah Games hoping to defend their two-time gold medals from the 2009 and 2013 Maccabiot – both succeeding in bringing home a prized gold medal. Similarly, the Open Men’s Soccer team looked to defend their gold medal from the 2013 Maccabiah Games; they succeeded in winning gold as well. For others, such as Juniors Boys’ Ice Hockey, Juniors Boys’ Soccer, Juniors Girls’ Squash, Juniors Girls’ Volleyball, and Open Men’s Rugby 15’s, the 20th Games were the first time they won a gold medal. Other accomplishments were our Juniors Girls’ Lacrosse team who won gold against Great Britain during the first-ever Lacrosse competition in Maccabiah history; and David Millstone, one of our Masters Triathletes finished with a bronze in the Maccabi Man competition.
While medals are important, the relationships that were built among teammates, coaches, managers, staff members, and Jews from around the world are as memorable as medals. The relationships, as well as the experiences, will last a lifetime. Congratulations to Team USA for leading us in one of our most successful Maccabiah Games. We are looking forward to the European and Pan American Maccabi Games in 2019 and the 21st Maccabiah Games in 2021!