1985 Maccabiah Games

The 12th Maccabiah Games brought over 4,000 athletes to Israel from 38 nations to compete in 28 sports.

12th Maccabiah
1985 Maccabiah logo.jpg
Host cityTel Aviv, Israel
Nations participating38[1]
Debuting countries Gibraltar
 U.S. Virgin Islands
Athletes participating3,700
Main venueRamat Gan Stadium


The Maccabiah Games were first held in 1932.[2] In 1961, they were declared a "Regional Sports Event" by, and under the auspices and supervision of, the International Olympic Committee.[3][4][5] Among other Olympic and world champions, swimmer Mark Spitz won 10 Maccabiah gold medals before earning his first of nine Olympic gold medals.[6]

Opening ceremoniesEdit

Twenty years after his first appearance in the Maccabiah, Olympic champion Mark Spitz returned to Israel to carry the Opening Ceremony’s Torch into Ramat Gan Stadium.[7] He was accompanied by Shirli Shapiro, Anok Spitzer, and Shlomit Romano, children of three of the Israelis slain in the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Notable competitorsEdit

Seven men's and 14 women's records were broken in swimming, with the U.S. team winning all but three of the gold medals in this category. Twelve new men's records and 7 new women's records were broken in track and field. The U.S. won 109 gold medals, 90 silver medals, and 74 bronze medals, slightly fewer than half of the medals won by all other countries combined.

Canadian Mark Berger, who had won a silver medal at the Olympics the year prior, won a gold medal in judo.[8] Brazilian Márcio Stambowsky won a bronze medal in judo.[9][10][11]

James Espir of the United Kingdom won a gold medal in the 1,500 m run.[12] American Ken Flax won the gold medal in the hammer throw.[13][14]

American Donna Orender played for, was the oldest player on, and was captain of the Team USA women's basketball team.[15][16][17]

Robbie Weingard played basketball for Team USA, helping it win a gold medal.[18] Israeli Ari Rosenberg won a silver medal in basketball with Team Israel.

American Ronni Reis won the gold medal, and American Jamie Golder won the silver medal, in the women's singles tennis event.[19] Shawn Lipman represented South Africa in rugby union, winning a gold medal.[20]

American soccer future Hall of Famer Jeff Agoos and Seth Roland competed in soccer for the United States, which came in 6th.[21][22][23][24][25] Nir Levine competed for Israel, which won the gold medal.

A Junior Maccabiah was held for the first time.[1]

Participating communitiesEdit

Thirty-eight nations sent delegations.[1] The number in parentheses indicates the number of participants that community contributed.


  1. ^ a b c "12th Maccabiah 1985". Maccabi Canada.
  2. ^ "The 20th Maccabiah Games: A brief History (Part 1)," The Canadian Jewish News.
  3. ^ Helen Jefferson Lenskyj (2012). Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137291158.
  4. ^ Mitchell G. Bard and Moshe Schwartz (2005). 1001 Facts Everyone Should Know about Israel p. 84.
  5. ^ "History of the Maccabiah Games". Maccabi Australia.
  6. ^ "At Maccabiah Games, 300 Jewish American athletes become bar and bat mitzvah". The Forward. July 14, 2022.
  7. ^ "Jewish Virtual Library ', Maccabiah Games'". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  8. ^ "1985 Team Canada Delegation".
  9. ^ Gracie, Reila (2015). Carlos Gracie the Creator of a Fighting Dynasty (in Portuguese). RG Art Publishing LLC. p. 483. ISBN 978-0578150109. O vencedor disputaria a final com Márcio Stambowsky, faixa preta de Rolls, que se encontrava em ótima forma. Como já o havia vencido na academia, Rickson esperava que Márcio lhe desse a vitória, mas este deixou a decisão por conta de seu professor: 'O que Rolls decidir eu faço.'
  10. ^ Borges, Andre. "Marcio Stambowsky Main Achievements". BJJ Heroes. Retrieved February 9, 2017. AABB Champion, Rio de Janeiro Champion, Maccabiah Bronze
  11. ^ Valuzzo, Rocco (August 13, 2015). "Stambowsky Shares Passion for Jiu Jitsu". The Weston Forum. Weston, Connecticut. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017. Stambowsky began competing in jiu-jitsu tournaments in his native country in 1977 and also at the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1985 before retiring from competition in 1993. Two years later he coached at the Pan American Games in Argentina.
  12. ^ "Full text of "The Jerusalem Post Magazine , 1985, Israel, English"".
  13. ^ "The Sidelines : Security Tight at Maccabiah Games". Los Angeles Times. July 3, 1989.
  14. ^ "Flax sets Maccabiah record". UPI.
  15. ^ Legends Donna Orender Archived 2017-10-19 at the Wayback Machine "Donna Orender" | Maccabi USA
  16. ^ ""Donna Orender" | Maccabi USA". Archived from the original on 2017-10-19. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  17. ^ Ron Kaplan (2015). The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-63220-855-2.
  18. ^ "Company Leadership". HYP Online. HYP. 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  19. ^ "Dramatic Tennis Singles Match". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. July 26, 1985.
  20. ^ "US Maccabiah Rugby » Shawn Lipman".
  21. ^ "Jeff Agoos". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  22. ^ "Jeff Agoos: 1996 was the Year of the Goose". socceramerica.com.
  24. ^ "FDU's Seth Roland Named US Maccabiah Soccer Team Head Coach". northeastconference.org.
  25. ^ FDU Knights[dead link]

External linksEdit