2001 Maccabiah Games

For the 2001 16th Maccabiah Games (Hebrew: המכביה ה16 ישראל תשס"א‎), the Opening Ceremony was held in Jerusalem at Teddy Stadium, while the re-building process of the collapsed bridge and investigations into the collapse continued.

16th Maccabiah
2001 Maccabiah logo.png
Host cityJerusalem, Israel
Nations participating49
Debuting countries Azerbaijan
 Chinese Taipei
Athletes participating3,300
Opening ceremonyJuly 16, 2001
Closing ceremonyJuly 23, 2001
Officially opened byKeren Leibovitch
Main venueTeddy Stadium

It is considered a 'smaller games' for three reasons: attendance was significantly lower, particularly from the Australians (it sent only about 170 athletes, compared with around 400 in 1997); it was run at the height of the Second Intifada (and straight after the infamous Dolphinarium bombing—the largest of the Intifada—that killed 21 Israelis, mostly high school students); and not all wounds had been healed after the collapse of the bridge.

The 16th Maccabiah attracted more than 5,000 athletes from 46 countries.


The Maccabiah Games were first held in 1932.[1] In 1961, they were declared a "Regional Sports Event" by, and under the auspices and supervision of, the International Olympic Committee.[2][3][4]

Opening ceremonyEdit

Over 25,000 people were at the stadium for the opening ceremony. Keren Leibovitch, an Israeli paralympic swimmer who had won three gold medals at the 2000 Paralympics, was given the honor of lighting the torch at the Games at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.[5]

Junior futsal and girls' soccer were new sports.

At the opening of the Games on July 16, 2001, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared:

"Approximately 2,100 years ago, the Maccabees lit the torch in Modi'in and carried it to the gates of Jerusalem, in the Jewish people's struggle for freedom in its homeland. The same fire of freedom and faith, which was not extinguished during 2,000 years, is, today, passed on to you.... You represent the spirit of the Maccabees who fought for Jerusalem and for Jewish rights and independence 2,167 years ago."[6]

Notable medalistsEdit

Gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg of the United States set a new record in the 100-meter backstroke. He also won a gold medal in the 4 X 100M medley relay.[7] Krayzekburg was chosen by the US team to carry their flag at the opening ceremony.[8]

Russian fencers Sergey Sharikov and Maria Mazina won gold medals in men's sabre and women's foil.[7] Vadim Gutzeit of Ukraine, who nine years earlier won an Olympic gold medal in team sabre, won a silver medal in sabre, as he lost to Scharikov. Jonathan Tiomkin of the US, who later was a Pan American Games gold medalist, won silver medals in team foil and team épée.

Participating communitiesEdit

The number in parentheses indicates the number of participants that community contributed.

Medal countEdit

  *   Host nation (Israel)

1  Israel (ISR)*223192159574
2  United States (USA)345461149
3  Russia (RUS)22151855
Totals (3 nations)279261238778

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "The 20th Maccabiah Games: A brief History (Part 1)," The Canadian Jewish News.
  2. ^ Helen Jefferson Lenskyj (2012). Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry. Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. ^ Mitchell G. Bard and Moshe Schwartz (2005). 1001 Facts Everyone Should Know about Israel p. 84.
  4. ^ "History of the Maccabiah Games". Maccabi Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "The Maccabiah Games history and information". Jewishsports.net. Retrieved July 10, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ a b "The Maccabiah Games history and information". International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 30 April 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Schiff, Brian (August 2, 2001). "Phoenix of the Games". Jewish Journal. Retrieved April 30, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)