MAIGS Underway

December 27, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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The Maccabi Australia International Games are under way in Sydney.

MAIGS Opening Ceremony

This is the second time round for the event which sees competitors from 14 countries visiting Australia…many for the first time.

The weather looked bleak as the day began with the Lawn Bowlers’ scheduled opening ceremony being moved from the Double Bay greens to inside the clubhouse.

But the weather proved to be much kinder for the opening itself. Competitors and supporters participated in a solemn service held at the permanent memorial at Sydney’s Olympic Park in the memory of the 11 athletes who were murdered in Munich at the 1972 Olympics. Also remembered were the four Australian athletes who lost their lives when a bridge carrying them to the 1997 Maccabiah Opening Ceremony collapsed. Candles were lit for the 15 who died and there was a particularly poignant moment when Adam Zines and Joshua Small lit candles for their late fathers Warren and Greg who died in the 1997 tragedy along with Elizabeth Sawicki and Yetty Bennett.

Following the ceremony, the athletes paraded with their flags in a 1.6km march to the State Sports Centre where Yair Hamburger, Chairman of Maccabi World Union declared the Games open. There was one flag missing, however. The single representative from Hong Kong had to march without as his flag had gone missing in transit.

Following speeches from Maccabi Australia president Harry Procel, MAIGS organiser Jeff Houseman and MLC Sophie Cotsis, it was full on entertainment with competitors sharing the stage with singing act Girls on Film.

Following a traditional Kosher Aussie barbecue it was back to the buses and a good night’s sleep before competition begins in earnest.

Watch the parade…….

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