Greenberg wins gold at the Maccabiah Games

Greenberg waits to receive a gold medal

Greenberg waits to receive a gold medal

Ari Greenberg (‘24) won a gold medal and two silver medals in track and field events at the 21st Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer.

Greenberg, who has been running since he was 11 years old, trains all year and competes for the Cherry Hill East track team in the winter and spring. Greenberg’s favorite event is the 800m because it is a mix of speed and endurance.

Last December, Greenberg accepted an invitation from the track and field coach for the Maccabiah USA delegation to compete in the summer Maccabiah games. While preparing for the games, Greenberg continued to train on his own but stayed in contact with his coach by email. The first time that he met the coaches and his teammates in person was at the airport in New York on the way to Israel. As part of the Maccabiah experience, the athletes spent three weeks in Israel, traveling and touring sites, competing in the games, and forming lifelong friendships.

“I became very close with my teammates from all over the USA,” said Greenberg.

Greenberg with his teammates on the podium receiving silver for the 4x400m relay. (Ari Greenberg(’24))

Similar to the Olympics, the Maccabiah Games occur every four years and include numerous sports. The games are the largest Jewish athletic competition in the world. Although postponed for a year due to COVID-19, the 21st games, which took place July 12-26, 2022, hosted a group of 10,000 Israeli athletes and Jewish athletes from more than 60 countries.

Athletes attended the opening ceremony, which included musical performances from top Israeli artists, choreographed dances and the Maccabiah flame lighting to represent the start of the games. While each delegation proudly walked into the stadium together in matching team uniforms, the ceremony provided an opportunity for the athletes to gather in one place and take in the moment. The energy and excitement of this event were one of Greenberg’s best memories from the games.

“The opening ceremony was wild and just a great experience,” said Greenberg.

Ari Greenberg (’24) running in the 800m race.(Ari Greenberg(’24))

After months of training, Greenberg arrived in Israel ready to compete and his hard work paid off. Greenberg dominated the 800m race, receiving gold with a phenomenal time of 2:00.04. He also competed in the 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay which both earned silver medals for the relay team.

Greenberg viewed it as an honor to stand on the podium during the medal presentations. He was thrilled to take home an individual medal and to also be able to stand on the podium with his teammates for the relay events.

“I thought that was very cool having a bunch of fans watch us,” said Greenberg.

Greenberg loved spending his summer traveling in Israel and competing in the Maccabiah Games. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that he will never forget.