Greetings from San Diego! For the first time since 2019, the JCC Maccabi Games are back here in San Diego. Team Oregon arrived at 9:30 on Sunday morning ready to make new friends, trade pins, compete in their respective sports, and have a meaningful Jewish experience.
Our athletes started with service projects. Sara Ellis (our tennis player) made care packages for students and the Team Oregon 3-on-3 basketball team (Joshua Braden, Itai Guy, Omer Shapria, and Noam Yaffe), met with Jewish soldiers and American armed forces and then wrote thank you letters for their service. Following service projects, Sara went to her host family’s house while our basketball players moved into the dorms at UCSD with 500 other athletes from all over the country and the world.
Monday morning, bright and early, our athletes took buses to San Diego Jewish Academy where they were competing in their respective sports. Team Oregon boys lost to Miami 21 to 12 in their first game but rebounded to beat Team Orange County by five in their second game. Sara lost her first matches but has two more today.
Here are some photos from the day; stay tuned to social media to see more about our athletes and their experiences at Maccabi Games in San Diego.
Monday night we had the opening ceremonies at the Del Mar racetrack. Team Oregon came into the song to tudu bom honoring three of our athletes with Israeli parents. It was a spectacular evening culminated by a presentation by Goldberg from the World Wrestling Federation who calls San Diego Home. He reminded all the athletes they have a purpose and should be proud to be Jewish.
Team Oregon is looking forward to another day of competition. We are so proud of our athletes and can’t wait to see what the rest of the games will bring!