Reunified J'lem attracts unprecedented numbers to 8th Maccabiah

June 30, 2009 07:57
1 minute read.
Reunified J'lem attracts unprecedented numbers to 8th Maccabiah

maccabiah 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The eighth Maccabiah was the first to be held in an Israel with a unified Jerusalem. The excitement stemming from Israel's victory in the Six-Day War two years earlier attracted an unprecedented 1,450 athletes from 27 countries to the country for the 1969 games. All of the athletes visited the Western Wall and Hebrew University on Mount Scopus for the first time - two places that were inaccessible to Israelis and visitors to Israel from 1949 to 1967. The Maccabiah Torch Relay began at the Tombs of the Maccabees in Modi'in for the first time as the tombs had been too close to the Jordanian border for such an action to be safe. US swimming superstar Mark Spitz returned for a second Maccabiah, winning several gold medals for himself and the American team a year after winning a pair of golds at the Mexico City Olympics. This same year, basketball player Tal Brody, who played at Maccabiah for the first time in 1965, made aliyah and led the Israeli basketball team to victory over the Americans. The event showcased the growing professionalism of many of the sports at the games - TV revenues became a factor, governments began looking at sports as a way of promoting their countries and performance-enhancing drugs became a staple for many athletes who began training at increasingly young ages. Maccabiah organizers became worried about the growing chasm between amateur participants playing for fun and professionals who made their money from athletics. The concern led to an evaluation of athletic performances at Maccabiot and organizers discovered that Jewish athletic prowess was deteriorating worldwide and that Israel was not investing enough in its own delegation.

Related Content

dudi sela
August 31, 2014
Sela steamrolled by Dimitrov