The 12 Valley athletes who made up part of Team USA at the 20th annual Maccabiah Games have brought home a total of 14 medals.
Dubbed the “Jewish Olympics,” the games opened on July 4 and ran through July 18. Team Maccabi USA sent more than 1,100 athletes to compete against 7,000 other athletes hailing from more than 80 nations. This year’s games were hosted in Jerusalem, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city.
Samantha Krew brought home the most medals, with five silver and two bronze. She competed in the women’s junior swimming category.
“We were overwhelmed with emotion,” said Samantha’s mother, Kim Krew. “Samantha has worked so hard, and to see it all come together in that one moment was indescribable. We are just so proud! Samantha has been so excited about her accomplishments. Each race has given her more confidence to believe in herself and see that anything is possible.”
One of the youngest swimmers in her category, Samantha won silver in the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle relay, 800-meter freestyle relay and the 400-meter individual medley relay. She took home bronze in the 200-meter butterfly and the 50-meter freestyle.
Evelyn Micco earned a gold medal in the uneven bars in the women’s open gymnastics category.
Also bringing home the gold was Tamara Statman, as Team USA won the women’s open softball competition.
Winning silver was Natasha Friedman as a member of the USA’s women’s open soccer team. Aaron Rosen also took home two silver medals, one for anchoring Team USA’s 800-meter freestyle relay team and as part of the 400-meter freestyle relay team in the men’s juniors swimming category.
“Aaron had six new (personal) best times out of six events, he made the top eight in all his events, and broke two of his Scottsdale Aquatic Club team’s records in the 200-meter breaststroke and 400-meter individual medley,” said Aaron’s mother, Beth Rosen. “The 400-meter individual medley record had stood for 22 years before Aaron broke it twice in the same day.”
Madison Kirsch earned a bronze medal on the balance beam in the women’s junior gymnastics category.
Team USA won the bronze in the masters ice hockey competition. David Rosenfeld of Paradise Valley was part of the team.
“We lost to Canada in the semis and beat Israel for the bronze,” he said.
Overall, Team USA came in second in the Games’ medal count with a total of 106 medals. Team Israel came in first with 323 medals.
As of press time, some final competitions at the Games were still in progress. Jewish News will provide updates on the final results. JN