U.S. wrestlers win 20 medals at Open and Junior divisions at 21st Maccabiah Games in Israel
by Theresa Chaid, Special to TheMat.com
1 - U.S. Maccabiah Games delegation photo. All photos by Larry Slater.
A group of wrestlers took to the mat at the 21st Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer. Maccabiah, a gathering of athletes of Jewish descent and Israeli citizens joined in solidarity to compete in their respective sports.
The competition is a time to connect with their Jewish heritage and to share stories, trade sports memorabilia, pins and simply come together in harmony.
The first Maccabiah opened on March 28, 1932, with a small delegation of 400 athletes. This year’s 21st Maccabiah Games had over 10,000 athletes and over eighty countries participating; it is the third largest sporting event in the world. Maccabiah takes place every four years and takes place the year after the Olympic Games.
Many refer to this as “The Jewish Olympics,” and over the years the event has gained great notoriety with world leaders gathering in peace to celebrate sport. This year, U.S. President Joe Biden was in attendance, side by side with President Isaac Herzog of Israel. The athletes range in ages 14-60 with a junior team, an open team and a veteran’s team.
The teams were housed in various cities across the country gathering first together in Kibbutz Shefayim where the juniors and seniors trained side by side, the teams also took part in Israeli Connect a program that worked with Maccabiah USA to introduce the athletes to the country and its rich history. After a week of training, the teams separated and the juniors went to the city of Haifa, and the seniors moved to Tel Aviv.
2 - Action image from the freestyle competition
The competition took place in Be’er Sheva providing the athletes the opportunity to see quite a bit of Israel. Being able to compete and represent the United States was one aspect of this competition that remained close to the hearts of all the athletes.
This year the United States competed in the Junior and Open divisions for Greco Roman, Freestyle and Beach Wrestling. The Juniors and Open divisions brought home a total of 20 medals: eight gold, eight silver and four bronze.
U.S. Freestyle U18 Team Members & Placings
• Jasper Dermont 71kg Bronze
• Josh Hametz 65kg Bronze
• Robert Kucharczk 80kg Silver
• Maxwell Parnis 71kg Gold
• Zachary Silber 65kg
U.S. Freestyle Open Team Members & Placings
• Daniel Chaid 125kg Gold
• Mark Chaid 92kg Gold
• Andrew Cohen 65kg Gold
• Aaron Galef 70kg Silver
• Michael Goldfeder 74kg Gold
• Moshe Klyman 97kg Bronze
• Jonathan Loew 86kg Gold
• Riley Parker 57kg Gold
• Blake Silber 92kg Silver
Greco Roman Open Team Members & Placings
• Daniel Chaid 130kg Gold
• Mark Chaid 97kg Bronze
• Andrew Cohen 67kg Silver
• Aaron Galef 67kg Silver
• Michael Goldfeder 77kg Silver
• Jonathan Loew 87kg Silver
• Riley Parker 60kg Silver
Maccabi USA Wrestling Leadership Team
• Commissioner Todd Volyn
• Open Co-Chair Dave Groverman
• Open Co-Chair Laura Stein
• Open Head Coach Robinson Prebish
• U18 Chair Dave Groverman
• U18 Head Coach Daniel Chaid
• U18 Assistant Coach Chad Parnis
Guest Coaches – Open Team
• UNC Head Wrestling Coach Coleman Scott
• UNC Head Assistant Coach Jamill Kelly
3- Action image from the Beach Wrestling competition.