BY: Marshal Davis
It's been a long but incredible week of competition, starting with the absolutely incredible opening ceremonies last Thursday.
For about four hours before the event, the teams from more than 80 countries met each other, sharing conversations in various languages and trading apparel and pins. It was truly one of the most unique experiences. As the sun set in Jerusalem, the teams eventually entered Teddy Stadium. Team USA was one of the first to march in, more than 1,100 athletes strong.
As we made our way around the field, a packed crowd of over 30,000 people yelled and cheered, many waving American flags. I'd venture to guess that Israel is one of the only nations in the world where Americans are loved and welcomed so deeply. It made me proud to be an American and a supporter of Israel. At the same time, I was humbled by the size and greatness of the event and my small contribution to the U.S. delegation.
In addition to entertainment from international performers, both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres addressed the crowd. President Obama gave a wonderful videotaped presentation, reiterating US support for Israel and his desire for Israelis to live in peace and security. Olympic Gold medalist Aly Raisman was the final carrier of the torch and lit the cauldron's flame in the stadium. My parents watched along, too, tuning into a live JLTV webcast from their home in Bucks County.
The fencing competitions took place on Sunday and Monday. Team USA came out with record-setting results. The junior division medaled in all six team events and won 14 individual medals out of a possible 21! This was beyond any of our expectations.
Israel uses their national team and many of the European countries have national squad members on their Maccabiah teams, including some of the top fencers in the world. Our team was able to achieve success based on the hard work and quality of our athletes, a lot of active coaching, and incredible team spirit that fired up our fencers to perform beyond their level. In fact, the British coach even approached me to say that he thought our amazing team spirit impacted some of our wins.
Here are the results for the team I coached:
- Gold: men's sabre, women's sabre, men's foil, women's foil, men's epee
- Silver: women's epee team
- Gold: Joseph Mitrani
- Bronze: Benjamin Weinfeld, Andrew Bogetz
- Gold: Noa Allen
- Silver: Kathryn Sachs
- Bronze: Jessica Rockford
- Gold: Sam Moelis
- Silver: Matthew Branman
- Bronze: William Upbin
- Gold: Jessica Gets
- Bronze: Rebekah Kahn, Jennifer Kahn
- Gold: Charlie Horowitz
- Bronze: Taly Yukelson
Now that our competition is over, Team USA Fencing will continue touring this beautiful country and soaking in the incredible cultural and educational experiences.
Signing out from a bus on the way to the Jordan River,
Outside of coaching the U.S Fencing team at Maccabiah, Marshal Davis works as an attorney at Davis Law and coaches at Swarthmore College and Liberty Fencing Club in Warrington.