CT Resident Represents Team USA at Maccabiah Games in Israel
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | July 25, 2017
SHELTON, CT- Marcy Cohen, of Shelton, CT, had the time of her life representing her country, religion and culture, as she competed in the 20th anniversary of the World Maccabiah Games in Israel from July 4-17. Cohen represented Team USA and competed with and against 8,750 of the top Jewish athletes from 80 countries.
“The experience was overwhelming in a fantastic way because there was so much going on there,” Cohen said. “Competing for your country and being Jewish, I was just so happy to be there and to be given this opportunity. It felt like you won a medal just for competing, and I felt like a winner just being there.”
Cohen, who runs Marcy’s Tennis Academy out of Shelton, was one of 1,250 Jewish-American athletes who made the trip and competed in the Masters Team Tennis division, for ages 45-60. ADVERTISEMENT She played six matches in both singles and doubles and faced off against players from Israel, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Her lone win came in singles against Israel.
“Some people went to sightsee, get immersed in the culture, or even to find a partner, but my main focus was tennis, so I didn’t really have any distractions,” Cohen said. “It was amazing though the friendships we made, swapping clothes and pins with our opponents and other players, and just to see the kindness out there amongst athletes.”
The games commenced with an elaborate opening ceremony celebration in Jerusalem, which Cohen described as electrifying.
“Being able to talk to all these Jewish athletes from all over the world was really a cool feeling. The opening ceremony brought players of all ages together, and the biggest thrill was that everyone was Jewish,” Cohen said. “The religion is small, and the best thing was being part of that very unique group. It really got you pumped up to compete.”
Cohen went into the games with no expectations, and yet came away with a lifetime of memories, new friends and once-in-a-lifetime tennis experience.