The Maccabiah Games – known as the Jewish Olympics – which began in 1932 and are held every four years in Israel, is the biggest Israeli sporting event and Jewish sports competition in the world.
The 21st Maccabiah is scheduled for July 12-26, 2022. According to Maccabi World Union (MWU), some 10,000 athletes from 80 countries will compete in more than 40 sports, along with thousands of supporting staff, family and fans. Dozens of sports events open to the public will be held throughout the country under the banner, “Israel Celebrates Sport,” in addition to a variety of social events that offer participants an unforgettable experience.
“The principal mission of the Maccabiah is to facilitate a worldwide gathering of young Jewish athletes in Israel, staging the highest possible levels of sports competitions, and strengthening their connection to the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”Maccabi World Union
“The principal mission of the Maccabiah is to facilitate a worldwide gathering of young Jewish athletes in Israel, staging the highest possible levels of sports competitions, and strengthening their connection to the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” MWU states on its website, maccabi.org/sport/maccabiah.
A spectacular opening ceremony takes place at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium on July 14, with 30,000 celebrants in attendance. The torch-carriers are five top athletes: Tokyo Olympic medalist Avishag Semberg; swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko; Paralympic swimmers Mark Maliar and Iyad Shalabi; and Jewish-American baseball player Ian Kinsler. Israeli Olympic Medalists Linoy Ashram and Artem Dolgopyat were chosen to light the ceremonial torch.
Details of 2022
Details of the 2022 Maccabiah were revealed at a news conference attended by MWU chairman Amir Peled and MWU CEO Eyal Tiberger; Maccabiah chairman Arik Ze’evi and Maccabiah CEO Roy Hessing, as well as past and present athletes, including Ashram and Dolgopyat, former basketball legends Tal Brody, Miki Berkowitz and Doron Jamchi; basketball star Gal Mekel; gymnasts Alex Shatilov and Nikol Zelikman; Paralympic basketballer Asael Shabo; and Ninja Israel champions Yuval Shemla, Matan Bello, Adam Brotman, Amor Paz and Sol Bocian.
Ze’evi announced that five new sports will be introduced at this year’s Maccabiah: surfing, climbing, 3X3 basketball, motocross and paddle – and weightlifting will return to the Games after an absence of 33 years. For the first time in Israel, there will be a SuperEnduro urban race (a two-wheeled motorsport) in Ramat Gan. The Maccabiah will also host Paralympic Games in a variety of sports for athletes with special needs.
“The Maccabiah has grown over the years, and there is not a single Olympic village that can accommodate it all,” Ze’evi said. “Therefore, this year, the entire State of Israel is going to be our Olympic village, with competitions and events all over the country. We will be bringing the Israeli audience a unique sports celebration that has never been seen before in Israel.”
Entry to watch the tournaments is free for sports lovers in Israel. For those abroad, the schedule is posted on the MWU website, and Ze’evi said that for the first time all events will be broadcast live across the world via Pixellot, which will enable families, friends and fans to watch the Games from abroad.