18th Maccabiah – Opening Ceremony

July 14, 2009 by J-Wire
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Ready…Uzbekistan,  steady..Austria….go ! Enter the Aussies.
More than 400 of them, pumped up and ready for the enormous buzz of the Opening Ceremony of the 18th Maccabiah.
As more than 7000 athletes from over  60 countries prepared to enter the arena, the exuberant Aussies delighted the 25,000 crowd with their cries of “Aussie, Aussie Aussie – Oi, Oi, Oi!” as they entered Ramat Gan’s National Stadium behind flag-bearer Roy Vandersluis competing in his record-breaking ninth Maccabiah. It was business as usual with fierce trading in the swapping of badges, caps and clothing.
When all countries represented had settled into the centre of the arena there was a moment of solemnity when the haunting tones of a Shofar sounded to herald Australian Ten Pin Bowler Josh Small recite Yizkor in memory of the four Australian athletes who died in the 1997 bridge collapse…one of whom had been his father, Greg. Josh also recited the prayer for the eleven athletes who lost their lives in the 1972 Olympics, for those who had lost their lives in terrorist attcks and for members of the Israeli Defence Forces who had been killed in action.
In his address to the Maccabiah, Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:”Our brothers and sisters from every continent, from North America, from Europe, from Africa, South America, from Asia and from Australia, you come here representing 65 different countries, but above all, you represent one united nation, the nation of Israel.” After receiving thunderous applause, the Prime Minister asked all overseas participants  to consider making Aliyah. Before officially opening the Games, President Shimon Peres said: “The Maccabiah is a festival for the whole of Israel. You are a blessing for Israel.” For the first time, all athletes had a role to play in the ceremony, wearing specially designed caps on top of which a velcro-attached white cardboard card became a part of a 7000 pixel screen.
Olympic Gold Medallist Jason Lezak lit the torch which will burn throughout the Games…believed to be the third largest sporting event in the world.

Ready…Uzbekistan,  steady..Austria….go ! Enter the Aussies.

Raie Moss, Mike Aronson, Lisa Borowick and Jeff Houseman - management

Raie Moss, Mike Aronson, Lisa Borowick and Jeff Houseman - management

More than 400 of them, pumped up and ready for the enormous buzz of the Opening Ceremony of the 18th Maccabiah.

As more than 7000 athletes from over  60 countries prepared to enter the arena, the exuberant Aussies delighted the 25,000 crowd with their cries of “Aussie, Aussie Aussie – Oi, Oi, Oi!” as they entered Ramat Gan’s National Stadium behind flag-bearer Roy Vandersluis competing in his record-breaking ninth Maccabiah. It was business as usual with fierce trading in the swapping of badges, caps and clothing.

When all countries represented had settled into the centre of the arena there was a moment of solemnity when the haunting tones of a Shofar sounded to herald Australian Ten Pin Bowler Josh Small recite Yizkor in memory of the four Australian athletes who died in the 1997 bridge collapse…one of whom had been his father, Greg. Josh also recited the prayer for the eleven athletes who lost their lives in the 1972 Olympics, for those who had lost their lives in terrorist attcks and for members of the Israeli Defence Forces who had been killed in action.

In his address to the Maccabiah, Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:”Our brothers and sisters from every continent, from North America, from Europe, from Africa, South America, from Asia and from Australia, you come here representing 65 different countries, but above all, you represent one united nation, the nation of Israel.” After receiving thunderous applause, the Prime Minister asked all overseas participants  to consider making Aliyah. Before officially opening the Games, President Shimon Peres said: “The Maccabiah is a festival for the whole of Israel. You are a blessing for Israel.” For the first time, all athletes had a role to play in the ceremony, wearing specially designed caps on top of which a velcro-attached white cardboard card became a part of a 7000 pixel screen.

Olympic Gold Medallist Jason Lezak lit the torch which will burn throughout the Games…believed to be the third largest sporting event in the world.

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