Maccabiah Games 2017

With the Opening Ceremonies of the 20th Maccabiah Games only a few weeks away, more than 600 Canadians are ready to embark on an experience of a lifetime in Israel.

Proudly sporting the maple leaf, on July 6, Canada will be one of the largest delegations marching into Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem for the Opening Ceremonies. Led by flag bearer, soon to be announced, and Alex Brainis, the head of the delegation, Team Canada will be represented by athletes from seven provinces, and compete in the following sports and events: Baseball, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Golf, Gymnastics (Artistic and Rhythmic), Hockey, Maccabi Man/Woman, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Half-Marathon, Triathlon, Volleyball, Water Polo, and Wrestling.

The Canadians will join 10,000 athletes from 80 countries in what is the third largest sporting event – and the largest Jewish gathering – in the world.

“The Opening Ceremonies in 2013 was the most surreal moment of my life,” recalled Caitlin Chicora, who competed in Tennis at the 19th  Maccabiah Games. “Imagine walking into a stadium with 40,000 people cheering for you and your country. The lights, the pride, the flags, and the excitement: that night was why I worked so hard to train and be apart of Team Canada.”

While competition is at the forefront of the Maccabiah Games, Canadian Junior athletes are set to arrive in Israel one week prior to the Opening Ceremonies to participate in the Israel Experience: a five-day comprehensive tour of Israel.

“This is a very special week for our Junior athletes,” said Tali Dubrovksy, Executive Director of Maccabi Canada. “For many of these athletes, the Maccabiah Games marks their first trip to Israel and it’s very important that they have an opportunity to tour, learn and appreciate the country, its history and culture.”

With the generous support of the Azrieli Foundation, the Israel Experience is aimed at strengthening the athlete’s connection to their Jewish roots and to Israel, through their passion for sports. Highlights of the Israel Experience will include a day of touring in Jerusalem, kayaking in the Jordan River, a visit to the North of Israel as well as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony at Masada.

When the competition does begin, Team Canada will be participating in Beach Volleyball for the first time, represented by two-time Olympian and Maccabiah Games veteran Josh Binstock and his partner, Canadian National team member Aaron Nusbaum.  Canada will also return to the pool with a Water Polo team as well as compete in Masters Soccer, having not participated in either in 2013.

While Binstock will lead the charge on the sand, Sasha Gollish is hoping to stand on top of the podium once again in a number of Track & Field events. Having captured two gold and two silver medals in 2013, Gollish continues to be at the top of her sport as a 2015 Pan American Games participant and reigning Canadian Cross Country Champion.

Also this summer, Canada will defend their team titles in hockey and softball.

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For Team announcements and Games Media click HERE.