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.

Did you Hear about Jerusalem Marathon 2013?

Streets were shut.

Traffic was blocked.

Public transportation came to a stop.

Schools had to close.

Jerusalem streets were deserted.

Was it a bomb scare, a terror attack, an alien invasion,

or hmm, an US Presidential visit?  Not yet.

No, the 3rd International Jerusalem Marathon was set to begin. 

Jerusalem marathon photo

To get around the city center on Friday morning

walking and biking were the only options.

Jerusalem marathon photo

 Last year rain and hail fell as the runners came near the Old City walls

marathon runners photo, Jerusalem

This year the weather was much better for the marathon runners as

 they ran the 42 kilometer route through the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

marathon photo

The cool temperatures did not make everyone happy

and the grey skies and no sunshine were not great for photos.

Jerusalem marathon

However, these actors walking on stilts draped in the flags

representing the 50 countries of the runners entered in the race,

Jerusalem marathon photo

and other characters, provided plenty of color as the runners took off.

The marathon winner from Ethiopia ran in a record time,

marathon winner photo

as Abraham Kabeto approached the finish line

Marathon runner photo

he was well ahead of the Kenyan runner who came in second place.

marathon winners female photo

       Here are the top three women runners smiling on the winners’ stand.

However, at this event

there were many more winners than these elite athletes. 

crowd of people photo

Over twenty thousand people ran in the various races,

supported and cheered on by a crowd of a half a million people.

marathon runners photo

Thousands ran the half marathon, a 21.1 -kilometer course, 

Jerusalem marathon

through the streets

marathon runners picture

and up the Jerusalem hills.

runners in race image, Jerusalem marathon

The winners of the 10 kilometer race were led by a motorcycle escort,

and thousands of runners followed after them.

Jerusalem marathon

Zahal, the Israel Defense Force, had a separate start time for their race.

marathon runners image

As these marathon runners approached the special finish line,

winner marathon photo

the 5th Place winner was already smiling and posing for photos,

crowded park, Jerusalem crowd

in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, which was filled with people.

end of race

This girl was so happy after finishing the 10 K race.

What a shame that UNWRA has cancelled the Gaza marathon.

Some people tried to protest or disrupt these Jerusalem races,

but it seems once again that no matter how many people are 

on the Jerusalem streets, if no violence is involved,

it is not a news worthy event.

marathon runner

Some full marathon runners were still seen on the streets

hours after the official winners crossed the finish line.

wheel chair in race

 Everyone who participated deserved and received a medal.

Many runners ran in support of a dozens of good causes.

Everyone was a winner on Friday, March 1.

nir barkat photo, Jerusalem marathon

 Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (center) had reason to smile.

The International Jerusalem Marathon has grown bigger

and better every year.

Many more people are already talking about

and planning to run in next year’s Jerusalem Marathon 2014.

Hope to see you next year in Jerusalem!

More photos HERE and HERE