Wolverines win gold at Maccabiah Games

Elijah Akhtarzad

Representing the United States at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, three current and two former Wolverines took home gold medals. Madeline Kaplan ’14, Leo Kaplan ’16, and Charlie Horowitz ’17 won gold in open women’s softball, junior baseball, and junior epee respectively, while alumni Jeff Schwimer ’07 and James McNamara ’10 won gold with Team USA in open men’s water polo. Oliver Friedman ’17 also took home a bronze medal in the junior table tennis division.

The tournament, which lasted from July 17 to July 30, featured Jewish athletes from across the globe who represented their respective countries in the third largest sports event in the world. Leo was part of the junior baseball team, which took home a gold medal early in the games by defeating Canada.

Kaplan started in right field and batted second amongst a U.S. softball squad that was primarily made up of college athletes.

The softball team finished with an undefeated record in tournament play, beating Canada in the finals 4-0.

“Our toughest competition was Canada because they had a good college level pitcher, but for the most part we were pretty dominant,” Kaplan said. “We were undefeated throughout the whole tournament. One of my favorite memories was walking around the stadium at Opening Ceremonies and hearing 30,000 people in the stands cheering USA.”

After training the entire summer, Friedman ultimately secured a bronze medal in the team event and made it to the quarterfinals in the singles event.

“I finally got to showcase my training from the entire summer against a very talented field, and my results were very gratifying because I had earned them myself,” Friedman said. “The most amazing moment was when they put the bronze medal on my neck because I really felt a sense of pride for my team and our country.”

Schwimer and McNamara helped the U.S. water polo team claim victory in all six of its games, beating Israel 9-3 in the finals.