The 10th Jewish Olympics -- the Maccabiah Games -- are now underway in Tel Aviv.?
The 10th Jewish Olympics -- the Maccabiah Games -- are now underway in Tel Aviv. The first day produced a rich crop of four gold medal for United States swimmers, one of them 19-year-old Wendy Weinberg of the University of Virginia who won a bronze at the Montreal Olympics. The games, which bring together some two-and-half thousand Jewish sportsmen and women from 34 countries, were opened at a special ceremony on Tuesday (12 July).
SYNOPSIS: About 53-thousand people packed the Ramat Gan stadium in scorching heat to see the competing teams parade round the arena. The size of the 400-strong United States team reflected the massive increase in competitors over the ninth games four years ago.
There are nearly a thousand more athletes taking part than in 1973. Here's the Australian team, about 165-strong -- again, a big increase over the last games.
The visitors will be competing for honours in 23 sports against an Israeli team of about 400 during the eight days of the games.
There was a colourful touch from the Brazilians to give the crowd a little extra excitement. The Brazilian's team about the same size as the Australian one -- again about 165 strong. Apart from the track and field events, the games include soccer, cricket, tennis, gold, judo and karate. There's also basketball, boxing, gymnastics, rowing and shooting.
Here are the West Germans. Some of the other teams are a little smaller -- Bolivia and New Zealand have only one athlete each, and they're representing their countries for the first time.
South Africa's also representee, even though the international federations of half a dozen sports have banned South Africans because of its government's apartheid policy.
The game were declared open by Israel's President Ephraim Katzir. The highlight of the ceremony was the kindling of the games torch with a flame carried by runners from the tomb of the Maccabees -- the warrior family which defeated superior Greek forces in the second century BC.