NEW YORK, June 21. RECENTLY, four-time Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg sat down for a Q & A to discuss his participation in the Maccabiah Games and his forthcoming induction into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame during the 2005 Maccabiah Games.
Here is the Q &A with Lenny:
Please tell us what all this means to you?
Lenny: This is a special moment to be part of the US delegation and be an Honorary Team captain. I feel that since the 2001 Games I have really become attached to the Maccabi movement. To me, the Maccabi Games represent a life-changing event for many of the participants, and I am proud to be one of them.
What was your reaction when Jordan (Weinstein, Chairman of the USA Maccabiah Organizing Committee) asked that you be the US Honorary Team captain?
Lenny: I was very honored and surprised by Jordan’s offer. To be a leader of such a great delegation is a privilege that I will remember for the rest of my life.
What were your thoughts as you carried the American flag in 2001 – a great moment in our history?
Lenny: Carrying the American flag into the Opening Ceremony was one of the major highlights of my career. To this day I can picture myself walking through the stadium, proudly holding the flag and the people just going crazy.
How about the reaction from Israelis and the US Team to your being there?
Lenny: I did not realize how popular and welcomed I was going to be. It was a special moment for me as a person and an athlete to be recognized by so many people. I came to Israel because I always wanted to be a part of the Maccabi Games. It was a personal decision, so to hear so many people express their thanks for that decision was a humbling experience.
What are you looking forward to most about returning to Israel?
Lenny: Just being part of the Games is exciting for me. Getting inducted into the International Jewish Sport Hall of Fame will definitely be one of the highlights of the trip.
How does your Maccabiah experience compare to your experience at the Olympics?
Lenny: These two experiences are a lot different. To me, the Olympic Games are all about athletic competition and the tremendous pressure to win in the grandest sporting event of them all. The Maccabi Games, to me, represent a far deeper personal and cultural experience that goes beyond athletic competition.
What has been your greatest athletic moment?
Lenny: Winning my three Olympic gold medals in Sydney.
And your most memorable Maccabiah moment?
Lenny: No doubt, carrying the flag into the Opening Ceremony.