Pan Am Maccabiah Games: Home At Last

PHILADELPHIA, January 5. HELLO again.

This will be the last note from me (Becca).

On our final day in Chile we packed up and spent some last precious moments basking in the sun and then headed to the Estado Israelita for some of the last games and Closing Ceremonies. We made it in time for the end of the Gold Medal game for men's basketball, USA vs. Australia. It was a very close game and both the US and the Aussies were getting quite loud cheering for their team. Australia ended up taking the gold but the USA women avenged the men's loss by upsetting the Aussie women for the gold.

Closing Ceremonies gave us all a chance to say our good-byes and snap some
last minute photos with our international friends. Several people got
really emotional, but everyone was sure to exchange email addresses to keep in touch. "See you in Israel in 2005," was heard several times on the
field. The next World Maccabiah games are scheduled to take place in the
summer of 2005 in Israel as usual.

There were some more tearful good-byes at the airport as the swimmers went
their separate ways. We were a close group of swimmers,and I am sure we will see each other down the road.

About 18 hours after our plane took off from Santiago I reached my apartment in Philly, tired but so glad that I got to experience such a wonderful event again. The Maccabiah in 2001 got me hooked and the Pan Am Games refreshed my memories about how great it is to partake in a peaceful, international competition.

If you are someone who is reading this on and would like to
know more about these wonderful events, please check out or feel free to email me with questions at

Best of luck in the new year and swim fast!!


Becca Schwartz

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