Moving Maccabiah’s opening offers ‘fresh start,’ son of bridge collapse victim says


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — The son of a victim of the 1997 Maccabiah bridge disaster welcomed the decision to move the Games’ opening ceremony to Jerusalem.

The Maccabiah Games said last week that the opening ceremony of the 2013 Games would be held at the newly renovated 31,000-seat Teddy Stadium in the capital.

Greg Small’s son Joshua, who was a child when his father died on the bridge that collapsed into the Yarkon River at the opening ceremony in ’97, said it was good to have a fresh start. Greg Small was one of four Australians who lost their lives in the collapse.

“It brings back a lot of bad memories for people,” Joshua Small told the Australian Jewish News. “It’s nice that we don’t forget what happened to people and the friends that we lost, but it’s good to get a fresh start.”

Small competed at the last Maccabiah as a tenpin bowler and hopes to go one better in 2013.

“In my dad’s honor I completed his dream last Maccabiah by competing in it, which is something my dad never had the chance to do," he said. "Now it’s my dream to win a medal.”

Yetty Bennett, Elizabeth Sawicki and Warren Zines also died in the disaster. Dozens of others were injured.


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