Get ready for a Fantastic Voyage at the 17th World Maccabiah Games. Follow all the action through the eyes of an athlete (that would be me) and learn more than you ever wanted to know about bowling (please, control your enthusiasm, you're embarrassing yourself). Fasten that seatbelt and make sure your tray table and seatback are in the locked and upright position -- this is going to be one crazy time!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Fourth Place … Again

Yes, you are reading that correctly. I finished in fourth place, again. Don’t get me wrong, I bowled well overall, but still finished in fourth place.

Our day started early again with the women and some of the men bowling the doubles competition. As expected, most of the men’s teams did not putting their top bowlers into that squad, but were waiting to have them bowl against the majority of the other male bowlers. The scores from the morning block were pretty low … for men and women. For those of us bowling the afternoon, we had no idea what we’d be getting into, but we’d soon find out.

Before getting our chance, one of the USA female doubles teams, Michelle and Lindsey, took the gold medal by one pin. It was close right down to the end and Michelle needed to make two pins of a split to get the victory. And right after that, Michelle received her medal for taking second in the singles event … check out the photo. She is standing next to Lisa Abush of Canada, who took the gold, and Mali Mizrahi, who she tied with for the silver.

Anyway, then it was lunch before the second squad of men took to the lanes. After waiting way too long and having some mechanical issues with the lane dressing (oil pattern) we finally got started. First game, Jonathan led our two-some; then I did most of the leading. On the day, I went 166-258-202-172-257-200 for a 1255 total. Consistent it was not, but it got me over for the tournament and has me in second place after 12 games for the all events. Not too shabby … I guess if I need to look for a bright side that would be it.

And, surprise surprise, we returned from the bowling center at around 8 p.m.; seems that the schedule they put together only accounted for bowling well, and not having any lane or scoring issues that we’ve been experiencing.

It did work out today, though, as we went to a short memorial service held at the Ramat Gan Stadium where we had the opening ceremonies immediately upon returning to the hotel. Today is the eight-year anniversary of the bridge collapse that occurred during the opening ceremonies of the 1997 Maccabiah Games, which injured many and claimed the lives of four Australian athletes, including two bowlers – a male and a female. Because of the incident – and the impending lawsuit – the Australian delegation did not send a team in 2001 but has proudly returned to these games, and we are so happy for that. They are a delightful team and a pleasure to be with.

The husband of the female bowler that perished has accompanied the team. Though he had a very difficult time making it over the new bridge erected at the stadium, he did make it over during the opening ceremonies and then again today at the short service. What was so nice is that a number of bowlers, from all teams (and some, like me, who weren’t here in 1997) went to pay our respects and show our support for our fellow bowlers. Though we are competitors, we are fortunate to have a strong bond with one another and support each other in good times and bad. This is a time when we needed to stand together, and that’s exactly what we did.

Tomorrow is the Men’s Trio (three-man) event; the ladies will bowl their trios on Sunday. We adjusted the schedule before competition began to give people an extra day off (especially those delegations without a female team) and we hope that we won’t be at the bowling center too late. I bowl with Jonathan and Lyle; it’s probably the best combination we have for the event, and not only do I hope to bowl well myself, but hope to finally make it onto the medal stand.

Ok, off to bed. If the results aren’t posted on the other sites, I’ve been told you can check out -- that’s the website of the Israel Bowling Federation. If it works, let me know. Enjoy.


Anonymous Greg Eckstein said...

Yes Matthew the israeli site works
I checked all your scores out. Say hello to everyone again. and to venezuela mexico canada and england Jonathan will know who to bust balls for me. I wish I was there with you all. but I want you to win some medals starting tomorrow. Don't make me come over there. Tell Jonathan to give howard waxer a pep talk. Good luck and do it! Greg. Tell Fran and Meryl that I will be there next time. Your site is great. Thanks for having it so I can feel like I am there with the team.

9:55 PM


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