Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Holdin court: Blogging in from the 18th Maccabiah Games

Heebonics is proud to present the second installment of Canadian Women's Basketball player, Adina Herbert's blog from the games in Israel.


I'm back, and this time, writing from Israel! We have been here five days now, and judging from our fading sun burns and growing energy, I'd say we're getting used to being here. However, the excitement and meaning of our purpose here in Israel has definitely not faded, but only grown in size and significance. We didn't really feel it until last evening when the games truly started. Last night was the opening ceremonies for the 18th Maccabiah Games, where 10 000 people attended and participated in the event.

It was truly remarkable to walk through those gates and hear the cheers and calls of support for the Canadian delegation in particular. I felt, and we all felt as a team and as a delegation, truly loved and applauded for our being there. Before that, I had always felt a little embarrassed when people were impressed with my participation in this event. I downplayed my importance in the whole thing; yet marching last night in the opening ceremonies really made me believe otherwise.

Seeing the faces of athletes from Costa Rica, India, Moldova, and other tiny Jewish communities who don't enjoy the same support that we do in Canada has made me reconsider my place in the significance of it all. We are really part of a world community with one major goal: to enjoy and celebrate being Jewish. There is no better place to be to witness this remarkable event.

Today, as we prepare to play the United States in our first game of the competition, I will carry this feeling with me. Wish us luck!

- Adina

Trailer of the Maccabi World Games, 2009 in Israel.

The Maccabiah Games, referred to as the "Jewish Olympics", were first held in 1932, in the midst of a worldwide depression. 390 athletes and 14 nations competed, figures similar to the participation in the very first Olympic Games 36 years before.

The Games are now the 3rd largest sporting event in the world, after the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, and take place every 4 years in Israel.