21st Maccabiah Games kick off amid much fanfare

This year's Games are expected to be the world's largest sporting event for the year 2022. 

 US President Joe Biden poses with the US athletes at Teddy Stadium, in Jerusalem, July 14, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)
US President Joe Biden poses with the US athletes at Teddy Stadium, in Jerusalem, July 14, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

US President Joe Biden has arrived at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Maccabiah Games at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.

Minutes before the scheduled start of the ceremony, the stadium suffered a power outage after an electrical box caught on fire.

The power outage has since been fixed and the ceremony is set to go ahead as planned.

The Maccabiah Games have been held in Israel since 1932. The games, which take place every four years but were pushed off one year due to COVID, currently recognize all 28 Olympic sports plus some extras like chess and cricket.

This year's games are expected to be the world's largest sporting event for the year 2022. 

 US President Joe Biden, Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Israel President Isaac Herzog attend the the opening ceremony of the Maccabiah in Jerusalem July 14, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD) US President Joe Biden, Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Israel President Isaac Herzog attend the the opening ceremony of the Maccabiah in Jerusalem July 14, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

About 10,000 athletes from 80 countries competing in the event will participate in 42 sporting events watched by tens of thousands of spectators.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the spectators and the athletes and gave a particular welcome to Biden, saying, "We welcome your beloved families and friends who cheered you on and supported you. And I thank a special supporter—President Joe Biden, a true friend of Israel."

The full event spans two weeks and different teams will compete in venues in Jerusalem, Haifa and Netanya. It is overseen by its parent organization, Maccabi World Union, which is also responsible for the European Maccabiah Games, Pan American Maccabiah Games and Oceania Maccabiah Games.

Herzog concluded his remarks by saying, "Dear athletes, the citizens of Israel are thrilled to see you all here, strong in body and mighty in spirit. Our land is your land. Our home is your home. My wish for you: win loads of medals, and smash loads of records! Good luck!"