2017 Maccabiah Games

Last updated
20th Maccabiah
Maccabiah 20.png
Logo for the 20th Maccabiah Games
(המכביה ה-20)
Host city Jerusalem, Israel
Nations85 [1] [2]
Debuting countriesThe Bahamas, Barbados, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Haiti, Malta, Morocco, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Trinidad (according to the official Games website Morocco debuted in 2013, and it does not list The Bahamas, Cambodia, Haiti, Malta, Philippines, or Trinidad among participating nations). [3] [1]
Athletes10,000 [4]
Events45 sports
Opening6 July 2017
Closing17 July 2017 [5]
Opened by Reuven Rivlin
Main venue Teddy Stadium

The 2017 Maccabiah Games (Hebrew : משחקי המכביה 2017), also referred to as the 20th Maccabiah Games (Hebrew : המכביה ה-20), were the 20th edition of the Maccabiah Games. They took place from 4 to 17 July 2017, in Israel. The Maccabiah Games are open to Jewish athletes from around the world, and to all Israeli citizens regardless of their religion. A total of 10,000 athletes competed, a Maccabiah Games record, making the 2017 Maccabiah Games the third-largest sporting competition in the world (after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup). [1] [6] The athletes were from 85 countries, also a record. [1] Countries represented for the first time included the Bahamas, Barbados, Cambodia, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, Malta, Morocco, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Trinidad (according to the official Games website Morocco debuted in 2013, and it does not list The Bahamas, Cambodia, Haiti, Malta, the Philippines, or Trinidad among participating nations). The athletes competed in 45 sports.



The Maccabiah Games were first held in 1932. [7] In 1961, they were declared a "Regional Sports Event" by, and under the auspices and supervision of, the International Olympic Committee. [8] [9] [10] Among other Olympic and world champions, swimmer Mark Spitz won 10 Maccabiah gold medals before earning his first of nine Olympic gold medals. [11]

Opening ceremonies

On 6 July 2017, the opening ceremonies took place at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, with 10,000 competitors in front of 30,000 spectators. [12] [13] [14] Seven athletes took part in the torch lighting ceremony, including Olympic gold-medal-winner swimmers American Anthony Ervin and Frenchman Fabien Gilot. [15] Five Israelis participated in the torch lighting ceremony: Olympic medalists in judo Ori Sasson and Yarden Gerbi, three-time Olympic gymnast Neta Rivkin, National Basketball Association player Omri Casspi, and Paralympic world champion rower Moran Samuel. [15] [16]

The delegation march took place before Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and others. [13] [16] British Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to the crowd by means of pre-recorded videos. [17]

Canadian ice hockey player Avi Steinberg proposed to his girlfriend Rachel on stage, and then married her under a chuppah on stage minutes later. [18] Singers who performed included Lior Narkis, Ester Rada, Omer Adam, Victoria Hanna, and Marina Maximillian. [13] [18]

Notable competitors

American three-time Olympic champion swimmer Anthony Ervin won gold medals in the 50-meter freestyle (with a time of 22.05 seconds), the 100-meter freestyle (with a time of 49.76 seconds), and the 4 × 100 m medley relay (with the Americans clocking 3:41.82). [19] [20] American B. J. Johnson won gold medals in the men's 100m breaststroke, with a time of 1:01.27 (a new Maccabiah record), as well as in the 200m breaststroke, with a time of 2:11.60. [21] [22] In the special 4x50m relay race between Israeli and American all-star teams, American Olympic champions Lenny Krayzelburg (four Olympic golds), Jason Lezak (four Olympic golds), and Ervin, with masters swimmer Alex Blavatnik, swam a time of 1:48.23 and defeated Israeli Olympians Guy Barnea, Yoav Bruck, Eran Groumi, and Tal Stricker, who had a time of 1:51.25. [23] American Jessica Antiles won the silver medal in the 400m individual medley and a bronze medal in the 200m individual medley. [24]

In soccer, Sam Raben and Jake Rozhansky were part of Team USA's gold medal winning team. Josh Kennet won a silver medal with Great Britain in soccer. [25] Ilan Boccara played for France, which came in 7th, Alon Abelski played for Germany, and David Cuperman played for Colombia. [26] Israeli soccer player Shani David scored a goal in the final for Israel as it beat Team USA to win a gold medal in women's soccer. [27] Australian Melissa Maizels competed in soccer. [28]

Team USA won a gold medal in basketball with among others Jordan Cohen, Sam Singer, and Travis Warech, as they were coached by Doug Gottlieb. [29]

In fencing, American Olympic fencer Eli Dershwitz, former junior world champion and ranked #1 in the world the following year, won individual and team gold medal in sabre. [30] [31] [32] [33]

Canadian Olympian Josh Binstock and his partner won the gold medal in men's beach volleyball. [34] Cricketer Zac Elkin won a gold medal with Team South Africa, and cricketer Mark Bott won a silver medal with Great Britain. [35]

Israeli-American Olympic swimmer Andrea Murez (competing now as an Israeli having moved to Israel in 2014) won the women's 100m freestyle, with a time of 55.15 seconds, and set a new Games record as she also won the 200m freestyle in 1:59.80. [36] [20] [37] Israeli Olympic swimmer Keren Siebner won the 200m butterfly with a time of 2:16.57. [21] Israeli Olympic swimmer Amit Ivry (59.37) and Siebner (1:00.01) won the gold and silver medals in the women's 100m butterfly. [36] Ivry, Siebner, Shahar Menahem, and Or Tamir set an Israeli national record in the women's 4 × 100 m medley relay with a time of 4:11.67 as they won a silver medal. [19] Israeli Olympian and former European Junior Swimming Champion in the 100m backstroke Yakov Toumarkin won the men's 200m backstroke in a time of 2:00.17. [21] Israeli swimmer Bar Soloveychik also competed at the Games. [38]

In track, Canadian Pan American Games medalist Sasha Gollish won gold medals in the 800m, 1,500m, and 5,000m events, and was named Female Athlete of the Games. [39] Diana Vaisman of Israel set the Games record in the 100 m dash with a time of 11.71, winning a gold medal. [40] Israeli javelin thrower Marharyta Dorozhon won the women's competition with a throw of 63.07m, qualifying her for the 2017 World Championships in Athletics. [41]

Israeli Olympic judoka Gili Cohen won the gold medal in the under-57 kg judo event. [20] Israeli Olympian Misha Zilberman won a gold medal in badminton mixed doubles, and Israeli Ksenia Polikarpova won a gold medal in badminton. [42] [43]

Israeli individual rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram, the 2015 Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix all-around silver medalist, won all five gold medals (the all-around, ball, ribbon, hoop, and clubs). [41] Israeli artistic gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won two gold medals in the floor exercise and pommel horse, and a bronze medal in the vault, and Israeli gymnast Andrey Medvedev won three bronze medals. [44] Israeli future Olympian and European Championships bronze medalist gymnast Lihie Raz won the gold medal on floor. [45] Israeli gymnast Ofir Netzer won a gold medal in the vault. [45]

Israeli Daniel Poleshchuk won a gold medal in Men's Open Squash. [46] [47] [48] 2013 World Women's Chess Champion Anna Ushenina of Ukraine won a silver medal in the second grandmasters group, which was won by Israeli grandmaster Tal Baron, in a field that included Israeli champion grandmaster Victor Mikhalevski. [49] German grandmaster Georg Meier won the main Grandmaster tournament, ahead of Ukrainian grandmaster and former European champion Alexander Moiseenko. [50]

Canadian Anthony Housefather won five medals (three silver medals and two bronze medals) in a number of Masters (35+) swimming events. [51] [52]

Zack Test, with Shawn Lipman as head coach, represented the United States in rugby union, and won a bronze medal. [53]

Participating countries

The Maccabiah Games are open to Jewish athletes from around the world, and to all Israeli citizens regardless of their religion. [54] Some delegations have more relaxed rules about participation; for example, the Brazil junior football team included Ronald, the son of former three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo, who is not Jewish, but has been a member of the Jewish football club Hebraica for years. [55]

The athletes were from a record 85 countries. [1] [2] Countries represented for the first time include the Bahamas, Cambodia, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, Malta, Morocco, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Trinidad (according to the official Web site of the Games, Morocco debuted in 2013, official Web site of the Games does not list Malta or Trinidad among participating nations) [3] [1] A total of 10,000 athletes competed, a Maccabiah Games record, making the 2017 Maccabiah Games the third-largest sporting competition in the world (after the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup). [1] [6]

Israel fielded the largest delegation, with 2,500 competitors led by Olympic windsurfer Maayan Davidovich. [56] [57] The US delegation of over 1,100 athletes came from over 42 states, and was the second-largest delegation. [58] For Team USA, Olympians Eli Dershwitz (fencing), Anthony Ervin (swimming), and Zach Test (rugby 7's) competed, and Olympic gold medalists and Maccabiah Games alumni Lenny Krayzelburg and Jason Lezak joined the team as Maccabi Ambassadors, and swam two exhibition relays. [58] [59] The Argentinian, Australian, and Canadian delegations each had approximately 650 athletes, Brazil's delegation had 491 members, and Great Britain was represented by 375 competitors. [60] [57]

The following countries sent delegations to the 2017 Maccabiah Games; numbers in parentheses indicate number of competitors: [61]


Athletes at the Games competed in 45 sports, at 68 sports complexes throughout Israel. [74] [56] The Games recognize all Olympic sports. [75] The sports with the greatest number of competitors were soccer (1,401 athletes from 20 countries), swimming (712 competitors from 34 countries), tennis (537 competitors from 35 countries), and basketball (466 competitors from 13 countries). [76] The sporting events included: [77]

Medal count

Israel won the most medals, a total of 470 (173 gold medals, 150 silver, and 147 bronze). [78] [79] Team USA finished second with 164 medals (50 gold, 67 silver, and 47 bronze). [78] [79] Australia came in third (40; 9 gold, 19 silver, and 12 bronze), and Canada came in fourth (23; 10 gold, 6 silver, and 7 bronze). [79] Hungary took fifth with 17 medals (6 gold, 7 silver, and 4 bronze). [79]

South Africa came in sixth with 15 medals (9 gold, 1 silver, and 5 bronze). [79] Tied for seventh with 14 medals were Germany (7 gold, 1 silver, and 6 bronze), Great Britain (4 gold, 5 silver, and 5 bronze), and Russia (1 gold, 2 silver, and 11 bronze). [79] Ukraine came in 10th with 13 medals (3 gold, 8 silver, and 2 bronze), followed by France with 12 (3 gold, 5 silver, and 4 bronze). [79]

Medals table for Open competition (Senior; 291 gold)

59 countries; 30 countries won medals.

1Flag of Israel.svg  Israel *173150147470
2Flag of the United States.svg  United States 506747164
3Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 106723
4Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 9191240
5Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 91515
6Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 71614
7Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 67417
8Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 45514
9Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 38213
10Flag of France.svg  France 35412
11Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 3238
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 3238
13Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 2136
14Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 2114
15Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 2002
16Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 121114
17Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg  Switzerland 1113
18Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 1102
19Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 1023
20Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 1001
21Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 0224
22Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 0213
23Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 0123
24Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg  Bolivia 0101
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan 0101
26Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 0022
27Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 0011
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 0011
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania 0011
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 0011
Totals (30 entries)291286274851

Medals table for Masters competition

1Flag of Israel.svg  Israel *117150139406
2Flag of the United States.svg  United States 29182067
3Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 16121644
4Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 11134670
5Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 63413
6Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 5121128
7Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 472233
8Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 3227
9Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 25411
10Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 2226
11Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 2169
12Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 2136
13Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 1113
Flag of Peru.svg  Peru 1113
15Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico 1023
16Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 1012
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 1012
18Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 1001
19Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 0336
20Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 0202
21Flag of Curacao.svg  Curaçao 0123
22Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 0101
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 0101
Totals (23 entries)205236286727

Medals table for Junior competition

1Flag of Israel.svg  Israel *918877256
2Flag of the United States.svg  United States 532527105
3Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 53311
4Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 35210
5Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 331521
6Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 27615
7Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 1719
8Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 1405
9Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 1225
10Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 1214
11Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 1203
12Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 1012
13Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 1001
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 1001
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 1001
16Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 03912
17Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 0224
18Flag of France.svg  France 0213
19Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania 0202
20Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 0112
21Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 0101
Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg  Switzerland 0101
23Flag of Barbados.svg  Barbados 0011
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 0011
Totals (24 entries)166160150476

Medals table for Para competition

1Flag of Israel.svg  Israel *991028
2Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 2002
3Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 1001
4Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 0077
5Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 0011
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 0011
Totals (6 entries)1291940

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony in Latrun, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, on July 17, 2017, was hosted by Bar Refaeli. [80] [81] [82] Refaeli presented Canadian Pan American Games medalist Sasha Gollish, who won three gold medals in track, with the Female Athlete of the Games Award. [83] Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev passed the Maccabiah torch to a number of Maccabiah athletes. [81] [82]

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">1953 Maccabiah Games</span>

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