Sunday, July 21, 2013

Let the Games Begin

After arriving at the hotel in the wee hours of the morning following the Opening Ceremonies, we had our official practice session (i.e. the one scheduled by the Israel Bowling Federation as part of the tournament schedule) and Technical Meeting, which is where we have a chance to review the rules governing the tournament and discuss any questions that arise. Thankfully, things did not get out of hand and any situations that needed to be addressed (and there were more than one) were done fairly and calmly. Kol HaKavod to us all for demonstrating good sportsmanship and good leadership!

Practice went off smoothly and our competition Opening Ceremonies featured some “entertainment.” – rhythmic gymnasts from Israel who gave a brief performance right on the approaches. Whenever there is a gathering, Israelis love to have a ceremony. It’s a thing here, we learn to live with it. Some people took video that we’ll post soon. Gentleman, be ready to cringe at some of the contortions they make with their body!

Shabbat at the Maccabiah is part always an interesting adventure. When you bring together so many Jews from around the world with varying practices and levels of observance, you never quite know what will happen but it’s not likely to be just as it is as home. Friday evening, my teammates and I enjoyed dinner together and sat around telling stories until the wait staff asked us to leave so they could prep for breakfast. It was great to have fun together; we even got to meet Uri’s son who lives nearby (and we met his wife earlier in the week, as well).

For me, I spent a good chuck of my Shabbat afternoon at the beach. It was quite relaxing, I got a little more sun, and I certainly understand why it’s a lifestyle people enjoy not only here but around the world. Dinner and relaxing back at the hotel and we were off to bed.

Finally, we began our competition today. Congrats to my teammates Marc Scherlis and Jim Lewis for taking silver and bronze, respectively, and to my friend Yahav Rabin from Israel for nabbing gold in the Singles Event.  All three bowled well while the rest of the field, by and large, struggled. Jared, Uri and I have some work to do but there is still lots of bowling to go. Marc and Jim will compete together in the Doubles Event while Jared and I will take the lanes together. We’re ready to give it our all!

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