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August 28, 1992 - Image 72

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-08-28

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A Sleepy Beginning

After a long bus ride, Detroit's Maccabi athletes
enjoyed the opening ceremonies in Baltimore.


Associate Editor

altimore — As 2,600 ath-
D letes
stood around the in-

terior hallways of the
Baltimore Arena on Sunday,
Karen Sklar and Jodi Shapiro
risked getting trampled.
Sprawled in the middle of
the floor amid hundreds of
milling athletes, Detroit soft-
ball coach Sklar rested her
head in the lap of one of her
ballplayers, Heather Meyers.
"I'm not tired," Sklar pro-
tested as her eyes started to
close. "I'm just resting my
back after the 12-hour bus
Shapiro slumped against
the wall, head down, resting.
"I'm doubly exhausted," said
the four-year veteran of Mac-
cabi swimming meets. She
had just returned from camp
in time to board the Maccabi
buses Saturday night at Con-
gregation Beth Achim. And
she didn't get much sleep on
the bus.
That story was repeated
over and over as the Detroi-
ters and more than 60 dele-
gations from the United
States and seven foreign
countries lined up for the pa-
rade of athletes which opened
the 1992 Jewish Community
Centers North American
Maccabi Youth Games in Bal-

At the far end of the build-
ing, the Windsor delegation
stood in groups, prepared to
precede host city Baltimore
into the jammed arena. More
than 12,000, including ath-
letes, their families and mem-
bers of the Baltimore Jewish
community, filled the seats
upstairs. The alphabetical pa-
rade of delegations would
take 45 minutes to complete,
and Nadine Diner of Windsor
was prepared to wait.
While teammates stood,
Diner sat on the floor, leaning
against her pole with the
Windsor banner.
Back on the fringe of the
Detroit delegation, 13-year-
old table tennis player Jon
Nyquist was conducting the
first recorded trading session
of the Baltimore Maccabi
Jonathan Lieberman and
two friends from the Hamil-
ton, Ontario, delegation had
waded through the crowd to
find Nyquist, a close friend
from summer camp in On-
tario. There was a quick
swapping of delegation pins,
as well as the usual banter-
ing of who was going to beat
whom in table tennis.
Although he had been away
at camp, Nyquist said,"I've
been working out all summer
for this."

Upstairs, after a few intro-
ductions, the parade of ath-
letes was announced. The
roar of the near-capacity
crowd shook away the cob-
webs and brought the resting
athletes to their feet. As they
slowly filed into the arena,
each delegation was intro-
duced and their television pic-
ture filled the large screen
behind the podium. It was
reminiscent of the 1990
games in Detroit and the
opening ceremonies at the
Palace of Auburn Hills.
The delegations paraded
around the arena to the roars
of the crowd, then climbed the
stairs and filled the lower
stands. But as often happens
at the Maccabi Games, the
athletes altered the script. Af-
ter the Baltimore delegations
were appreciatively received
in their black uniforms, or-
ange arm bands and Orioles
caps on their heads — there
is a pennant race on, after all
— the flagbearers of several
delegations raced back onto
the floor.
In time to the music, they
ran around the arena, waving
their banners and exhorting
the crowd to join them. The
impromptu celebration lasted
15 minutes.
Brief welcoming speeches

Continued on Page 74

Detroit's delegation is led into the Baltimore Arena at last Sunday's opening ceremonies.



, -

Detroit delegation members congregate before Sunday activities begin.

Hot Trades

Business was booming on and off
the Maccabi fields.


Associate Editor


altimore — "They made
us go to bed early," De-
troit volleyball player
David Young said of his host
By early, Young meant
12:30 a.m. after the opening
ceremonies. And his host
woke him at 6:30 a.m. Mon-
day so he could be at
Catonsville Community Col-
lege by 8.
Detroit played three vol-
leyball games Monday morn-
ing. The boys and girls teams
were in action at 8, but
Young's coed team, playing in
the boys bracket, was not
scheduled to take on Philadel-
phia until 10.
So Young sat behind the
bench while the 8 o'clock
teams warmed up. Wearing a
bandana, he spotted a tall
Washington, D.C., player
wearing a kippah. The two
sat down to trade team pins.
"I really don't have a lot of
experience playing volley-
ball," said Young. "The coed

team only has one player with
experience. But I went to try-
outs and practices — I came
home from camp a month ear-
ly to practice with the team."
Volleyball is a girls varsity
sport in Michigan high
schools, but Young has played
volleyball in gym classes at
North Farmington High
Detroit's three volleyball
teams, under coaches Kenny
Bertin, Jason Gold and Sam
Skeegan, practiced three
times a week during the sum-
mer at the Jewish Communi-
ty Center.

Detroit's boys soccer team
was not expected to do well in
Baltimore. The team does not
have the size and experience
of past Detroit soccer squads.
But Detroit took on a highly
rated, bigger squad from Or-
ange County on Monday
morning and played the Cal-
ifornians to a standstill.
Showing a lot of grit on a
field that sloped like a slant-
ed table top, Detroit lost to
Orange County, 1-0, on a sec-


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