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August 22, 1986 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-08-22

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18

Friday, August 22, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

NEWS

Maccabi Games

Continued from Page 1

York University, the main
site for the games. The Ven-
ezuelan delegation, which
had been hosted by Detroit
families last week, arrived in
Toronto last Thursday and
had to sleep on the lawn out-
side a dormitory because they
arrived a day early. Other
foreign delegations arrived
without having contacted
Toronto officials in advance.
Some Detroit youngsters
told their parents that they
took public transportation to
downtown Toronto late at
night to go shopping. There
were reports of noisy delega-
tions carousing in the dor-
mitories, and a barbecue on
Sunday sponsored by the To-
ronto host committee had
four grills preparing hot dogs
for 2,500 persons.
Detroit team captain and
long-time Maccabi volunteer
Jay Robinson minimized the
difficulties late Tuesday
night in a telephone inter-
view with The Jewish News.
"The first few days were very
rocky," Robinson said. "Fri-
day night's opening cere-
monies were rained out, but
the kids were already there
when the storm hit and they
got soaking wet. No an-
nouncements were made be-
cause the ceremonies were
cancelled, and the dining
room was running very late
because of the cancelled
schedule. Saturday was
Shabbat, and the kids had
very little to do. But on Sun-
day the kids started their
competitions, and by Monday
things started to smooth out.
Everybody got to their games
and matches."
Steve Weiss, president of
Detroit Maccabi, spent last
weekend in Toronto. "When
we walked in Friday after-
noon we immediately realized
there were major problems."
Weiss said the Detroit dele-
gation refused to allow its
team to be switched from its
assigned dormitory, and "we
also told our coaches that
they were responsible for get-
ting their athletes to their
contests" off-campus when
the scheduled buses did not
arrive.
"We also told the coaches
to buy lunches for the kids"
at off-campus competitions
"and give us the bills" when
boxed lunches were not deliv-
ered, Weiss said. He credits
Detroiters Robinson and Mort
Plotnick, executive director of
Detroit's Jewish Community
Center, for helping the To-
ronto host committee solve
the games' problems.
Robinson reported "that a
whole bunch of people jumped
in to help out. But it wasn't a
palace coup. There are a lot
of people here from all over
the world who really know a
lot about these things."
Some of the difficulties
were attributed to a campus
location for the Toronto
games. In Detroit two years
ago, more than 1,000 athletes
received home hospitality

Jay Robinson:
The bottom line was the
athletes.

from the Jewish community,
nearly eliminating problems
of entertainment, supervi-
sion, food, lodging and trans-
portation for the guest dele-
gations. With more than
2,000 athletes going to To-
ronto, the host committee re-
lied on the York University
facilities.
Jeff Engel, chairman of
Maccabi Ontario, confirmed
that many of the early prob-
lems were caused by "more
people coming last-minute
than expected." He also ad-
mitted that "we have been
understaffed. The Toronto
volunteers did not come
through. But adults attend-
ing the games with other
delegations have pitched in,"
he said, "mostly from Detroit
and New York."
Plotnick added that daily
heads-of-delegation meetings
were instituted Monday, and
those meetings have been a
major factor in improving the
games.
Both Engel and Robinson
described the athletic compe-
titions as running smoothly.
"We've had top-flight compe-
tition," Robinson said, "world
class in 'some cases. The
sports themselves have been
fabulous."
At mid-week, Detroit's
athletes were challenging in
the medal rounds in several
competitions. Through Tues-
day, the boy's basketball
team had a 4-0 record and
the soccer team was 3-1. The
boys' and girls' baseball
teams were also in the 'medal
rounds.
Detroit athletes are also
competing in track, sailing,
racquetball, tennis, table
tennis, girls' gymnastics, and

Continued on Page 20

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