Photos of Maccabiah Opening in Jerusalem

The Maccabiah 2013 Opening was one huge event,

with 9000 athletes from over 70 countries participating.

30,000 people came to watch the opening ceremony at Teddy Stadium.

image waiting for bus

Anyone who says Israelis are not patient and do not stay in line

would have been shocked by this queue for shuttle buses from the parking area to Teddy.

No way I was going to wait there, so I went around the corner to get a public bus.

Oops, not off to a good start, as it seems that these folks were waiting in the wrong place

and I found a seat on an empty bus.

photo buses lined up at Teddy Stadium

Buses, buses and more buses arrived,

too bad there were none when I left and I had to walk home.

Only in Israel:

photo #Maccabi

 this boy was selling cut-up watermelon for 15 shekels,

image selling seeds at Stadium

and of course, there were bags of sunflower seeds for sale too.

photo audience at Maccabiah

Everyone found a light stick under their seat.

 a rehearsal showed everyone how to use them during the performance.

photo Israeli flags

There was certainly no shortage of Israeli flags.

photo Maccabi opening

The parade of nations followed the order of the Hebrew alphabet,

so the two athletes from Uzbekistan were the first to enter.

Many people were cheering both for their country of birth and for Israel.

image face painted half US & half Israel flag

One fan had his dual loyalty clearly painted on his face.

photo opening Maccabia

Australia was the second country to enter the hall, with 442 participants.

When we lived in Australia, we had many friends who were active in Maccabiah,

opening Maccabiah photo

 I tried hard to find someone I recognized in the enthusiastic group.

Here are 20 more photos if you want to look for an Aussie friend.

Maccabiah opening

Azerbaijan had 12 athletes, 

opening Maccabia

and Virgin Islands, just one, who got special attention,

image Maccabiah

Albania also had one.

opening Maccabiah

Aruba, Armenia, followed by the USA.

USA Macabiah

1197 athletes came from the US, and this girl had good view for a great photo.

Maccabiah

I was starting to get really tired at this point, but Brazil had plenty of color and energy.

Macabiah

Germany with 202 participants, stopped right in front, performed and posed.

Opening Maccabiah

Mongolia, Macedonia, Mexico,

Maccabiah

Slovenia, Slovakia, and Spain,

who knew there were so many countries?

Macabaih

 58 athletes from Turkey,

Macabiah

and one from Scotland wearing a kilt.

Macabia

 111 athletes from Cuba came dressed in red, white and blue.

Maccabiah

214 Mexican hats were ready to dance.

Macabiah

11 from Kazakhstan: what do you think of their hats?

Macabiah

By the time the 667 Canadians entered,

the aisle was filled with people trying to get a closer look,

 I was sitting down and almost missed Amar’e Stoudemire.

Macabaih

Israel entered last with 3000 athletes; they kept coming and coming, 

so it was time to switch to video.

large Israel flag

The large Israeli flag was carried in and raised.

Maccabia

Finally the show began,

Macabiah

and we got to use the light sticks.

The massive stage has been taken down,

 I can’t wait to see how they can top this for the closing ceremony.

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