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Maccabiah stories of Americans, native and immigrant, handicapped & healthy

Athletes from around the globe convene in Israel for Maccabiah Games
Over the past 2 weeks, 9,000 Jewish athletes converged on Israel to compete in the 19th Maccabiah Games. Host country, Israel, won the most medals with 411, including 150 gold medals. 1200 Americans earned 196 medals, the second most.  The next most were earned by Canada, Australia, and South Africa, in that order.

George Thomas of CBN News reports on the Maccabiah Games from American athletes' perspective:

Steve Soboroff, Chairman of the Committee of 18, and Maccabiah Executive Director Eyal Tiberger held a fundraiser in L.A. this spring, courtesy Marv Markowitz  (of  Factor's Deli and The Mark hall) towards funding trips for the athletic Jewish young-people to compete in the Maccabiah Games.

Steve Soboroff discussed, with JooTube, the purpose and results of sending Jewish youth from around the world to compete in the Maccabiah Games in Israel. 

The anti-Semitism in Iran in the 1960's, motivated short-heighted Suleman Binefar to learn how to wrestle.  He became so good at it that he entered the Jewish Maccabiah competition and earned a silver medal. When he escaped from Iran, his medal and all of his memorabilia were misplaced.  Executive Director Eyal Tiberger discusses how the Maccabiah restored his medals to him in Los Angeles.  30-years ago, former Israeli national-team soccer player Eli Marmur launched Maccabi clubs in North America. These clubs will meet in Orange County, California this weekend for the JCC Maccabi Games.

Assistant Coach of the U.S. Girls Junior Soccer team, Nicole Hagouel, gave her views on getting the US Junior Girls Soccer towards Maccabiah Gold.  

She was prescient about defeating Brazil - her girls earned 1st place- above even the host Israeli team.

Joe Siegman, founder of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (and author of Jewish Sports Legends) discusses the role of the Maccabiah games in his life, starting as a cricket-player since 1973.

Nearly killed in 2010 accident, a triumphant Dave Blackburn returned to Maccabiah in JTA, 30 July 2013:

Dave Blackburn beamed triumphantly, surrounded by a crowd of American athletes and cheering spectators. It was like old times, the great pitcher basking in applause. But Blackburn wasn’t being ushered off the field with a championship trophy in hand as he was after leading the U.S. softball team to gold medals in four earlier Maccabiah Games. Instead, Blackburn maneuvered his wheelchair down an aisle to the front of a reception hall earlier this month after being named one of 10 athletes to carry the U.S. contingent’s banner onto the field for the opening ceremony of the games.  Read more.

Separate to Blackburn's appearance,
for the first time in the Maccabiah’s history Paralympic competitions were held.  The only two nations to win gold were the Israel with six and the United States with four.  Jewish Paralympic athletes from Hungary, Hong Kong and Australia also earned medals 

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