July’s Maccabiah Games remain on course to be the biggest of all time and defy the economic downturn, according to Jeanne Futeran, president of the Maccabi World Union.
Speaking after a three-day Maccabi World Union plenum, attended by more than 300 delegates from 64 competing nations, the South African spoke about how the organisation is attempting to help athletes attend by encouraging the larger delegations to donate money to help participants from less financially developed countries. It is believed that Maccabi America has given $500,000 towards the Jewish Olympics.
A mood of optimism swept across the meet and Futeran said: “It has been a tough job ensuring that all the athletes will be able to come, but we are all working very hard and expect this year’s Maccabiah Games to be the biggest ever.”
With hosts Israel fielding in the region of 2,000 athletes, the USA will bring the largest delegation with 1,000 athletes signed up. They still await confirmation from Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Jason Lezak.
The list of entrants will not be finalised before next month although an estimated 7,000 athletes will make it the world’s third largest sporting event.