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Maccabiah Games kick off in Rome

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The 12th European Maccabiah Games began Thursday in Rome with more than 2,000 Jewish athletes from 38 countries.

There are 16 different competitions this year, which marks the largest games ever. The games date back to 1929 when Jewish athletes from all over the world from local Maccabiah clubs vied for awards in Prague. After World War II and a long hiatus, the games began again in the 1960s and are held every four years.

This year events range from badminton and basketball to fencing and karate.

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