TEL AVIV (Jun. 20)
A record 4,000 athletes, representing Jewish communities from 35 countries will participate in the 12th Maccabiah games due to open in the Ramat Gan Stadium on July 15.
Israel, the host country, will field the largest contingent, of 800 athletes, while the smallest contingent will be that of Monaco, sending a lone representative from the tiny principality. The U.S. will have the biggest contingent from abroad, with 503 athletes attending.
The Jewish communities from Zaire, Monaco and Gibraltar will make their debut at the games and Yugoslavia is returning to the games for the first time in 50 years; the first Eastern Bloc country to participate since World War II.
The 29 listed sporting events will take place all over Israel and the participants will be housed in 14 localities according to the placement of the event in which they are participating.
While the official games are in progress, events will be staged for veterans and for the first time, 330 youngsters up to the age of 15 will be able to participate in six events and represent 17 of the adult delegations.
The opening ceremony is expected to draw a crowd of some 50,000 spectators and the special closing ceremony will take place at Sultan’s Pool Stadium in Jerusalem on July 25.