Wellesley, MA — This summer over seven thousand Jewish athletes made their way to Israel for the eighteenth World Maccabiah Games. The world’s third largest sporting event, the Games featured twenty-three different sporting events played by athletes from over sixty different countries. I was one of the athletes this summer representing the United States in Women’s Open Squash.
The Maccabiah experience is exceptional, especially for the many collegiate athletes who are able to participate in the Games. I am currently a senior at Wellesley and was joined by collegiate players Jeremy Herrmann of Williams, Rusty Feldman of Yale, and Zeke Scherl of Harvard. The number one men’s player, Josh Schwartz, is no stranger to college squash either, as he competed at Yale for four years.
From the opening ceremonies, where we marched into Ramat Gam Stadium where 50,000 screaming fans awaited us, to competing against England, Australia, and Brazil, the Maccabiah experience gave even seasoned squash players an opportunity to compete on a world stage. There really isn’t any feeling comparable to the first time you put on the dry fit shirt with “USA” printed on the back.
Both the men and the women finished with the silver medal in the team event, after losing to Israel in the finals. The other collegiate players and I will all have remarkable experiences to share with our teammates at home.