Israel Prepares for Fourth Maccabiah, Games Open Sunday

Preparations for the Fourth International Maccabiah–the Jewish “Olympic Games”–which opens in the huge Ramath Gan Stadium next Sunday, are in full swing with hundreds of workers bringing the grounds into shape and the Israeli team practicing hard.

The Games will be opened with an elaborate ceremony attended by President Ben Zvi and Premier David Ben Gurion as well as representatives of many other nations. Maccabiah Village, set up along the lines of the Olympic camps in which athletes of all nations live together during the games, is ready for the teams from 23 countries. The Village has its own post office, medical center and other facilities.

The South African team, the first one from abroad to arrive in Israel, this morning moved into the flag bedecked Maccabiah Village. In the course of the week a total of 700 athletes will take up quarters there.

In a special proclamation, the Tel Aviv municipality today called on the city’s inhabitants to festoon their homes with flags, ribbons and decorations to welcome the athletes and an expected 3,000 visitors. Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett and the Mayors of Tel Aviv and Ramath Gan are arranging a round of functions for the athletes and representatives from abroad.

The largest delegation, 110 athletes, will come from the United States. It will include some men who are competing in their third Maccabiah and a number of winners in the last competition. The British team will also include a number of champions of the earlier games.

Thirteen national delegations will compete in the swimming events, 15 will enter contestants in the light games and events and a smaller number of delegations will be represented in water pole, football, basketball, hockey, boxing, wrestling, weight lifting, fencing, bicycling, bowling, tennis and table tennis. Mexico will be represented by one man, a weighlifter. Israel will enter teams in every event.

Some of the games will be held in the new Haifa Stadium and the swimming events will be held in the Haifa Pool.

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