History of the Games: USA dominates ninth Maccabiah with 76 gold medals

Games were dedicated to the memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The ninth Maccabiah was dedicated to the memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics and took place against the backdrop of relatively peaceful borders and waves of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union. Two survivors from the '72 Israeli Olympic delegation walked in the opening ceremony of the 1973 games. The ninth Maccabiah included 1,500 athletes from 26 countries, but still not from any of the Muslim countries. Many of the 335 Israeli athletes were recent immigrants, including 38 alone from the Soviet Union. There were 23 sports for athletes to compete in. Track and field took a bit of a backseat for the first time, while swimming remained a huge boon for the American delegation. The Israeli delegation distinguished itself in track and field and swimming events. The USA delegation dominated, coming away with 76 golds, while the Israelis won 66. The organizers began planning cultural events so that participants could intermingle. In addition, participants attended Jerusalem Day celebrations and visited the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, Yad Vashem, the Knesset, Mt. Herzl and Ammunition Hill. For the first time, the Maccabiah was filmed and broadcast in Israel by Israel Broadcasting Authority and some 400 members of the media from around the world came to cover the games. Among the outstanding athletes at the games were Swedish swimmer Anita Zarnovitsky and her twin brother, Bernot and American track and field star Carry Kering who won gold and set a Maccabiah record in the decathlon while also winning gold in the pole vault).