The 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel was a resounding success for Team GB. Here, Danny Caro speaks to Head of Delegation David Kyte about the experience.
How would you describe Team GB's 19th Maccabiah experience?
"As team MGB yet again had an outstanding Maccabiah with Jerusalem as a sporting centre adding to the whole experience for so many."
Did our medal tally exceed/fall below expectation?
"It definitely exceeded certainly my expectations as it is never something that we focused on – the important thing for us was to send as big as delegation as possible to enjoy the occasion and have the experience of a lifetime."
In terms of sporting achievement, what was your individual athlete and team highlight?
"So many outstanding talents and highlights I wouldn’t want to single anyone out - but if I were….. Junior netball and U16 football both winning golds against very hot favourites, junior tennis players Josh Paris and Becky Smaller winning gold in mixed doubles, Ellie Edwards and Sam Schindler-Glass in athletics, and from the Open team Richard Moss winning gold in the Open tennis mixed doubles."
Was there one particular incident/achievement that summed up the Games for you?
"It would have to be the arrival of the team at the Kotel straight from the airport at 1am in the morning; the Opening Ceremony with Team GB virtually running into the Stadium with excitement (3 of the Over 45 Masters football team pulled hamstrings trying to keep up!); Ricky Engleman being barmitzvah at the Kotel at 8am with all his team mates in attendance and them all making it back to Tel Aviv for their final game against Australia the same morning."
What lessons can be learned about the Games?
"There is a lot of unbelievable Jewish sporting talent throughout the world but Maccabi and sport is the magnet that draws in Jews from all denominations in countries across the world and the Maccabiah brings them all to Israel and makes us understand that we are one family
"We all too often focus on local issues but the Maccabiah is a reminder - and we know it’s not perfect - what a wonderful institution we are lucky to belong to."