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Team Maccabi GB succeed on German snow and ice

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

On 2nd January 2023, Maccabi GB took a delegation of athletes to the Ruhpolding, a German Municipality situated in Bavaria, to represent Great Britain at the first Maccabi Winter Games since 1936.

The Games provide an opportunity for six athletes to represent Great Britain on the international stage. The experience of bonding with other Jewish people from all over the world made the Games an unforgettable experience.

Team Maccabi GB’s flag bearer Goldie Orenstein is no stranger to international games, competing in, “The Maccabi Winter Games was the most unbelievable experience,” said Goldie. “I enjoyed every second of it and made many new friends. It was a great competition with many great activities and chance to scocialise.” Goldie won two medals during the games, both gold in the Snowboard Slalom and the Snowboard Parallel Slalom events.

Adam Taylor won Team Maccabi GB’s most gold medals with three, dominating the Snowboard Slalom events, with gold in Giant Slalom, Slalom and the Parallel Slalom events. “I am grateful to have built deep friendships in the span of just one week,” said Adam reflecting on the Games. “Sports are an excellent way to bring people together, and the setting--the beautiful Bavarian Alps--only added to the richness of this experience. Together, the 500+ Jews in attendance, created a real sense of community. The feeling of being in this environment is one I will treasure forever.”

Figure skater Jamie Smokler competed at his first International Games and he didn’t waste any time, winning Team Maccabi GB their first gold of the Games. What made his feat even more impressive was that it was his first skating competition in 5 years. “Standing on the podium wearing my GB jacket was an incredible experience I will never forget,” said Jamie on winning gold. “This experience has been incredible for so many reasons and I would love to have the opportunity to be part of the next games.”

Skier Olly Nathanson thought he would give another discipline a go whilst out in Germany and was a late entrant into the Bavarian Curling competition, he was clearly a natural as he won a silver medal in the event. Olly described the Games as “the pinnacle of family and Jewishness”, he also went on to say “Really special people from all corners of the globe came together over a common value.”

Joe Rosenfeld got Team Maccabi GB’s first gold medal of the Games, winning the Cross-Country Skiing event. In that event his determination was on full show, collapsing moments after crossing the line, he gave it his absolute all. He wasn’t done winning Gold in the Cross-Country events, later winning the Cross Country Sprint. Joe would also later show his prowess with a rifle on his back, winning bronze in the Biathlon Relay.

Sam Orenstein, father of Goldie competed the team, he won three medals, with bronzes in the Skiing Giant Slalom, Alpine Skiing Parallel Slalom and the Skiing Slalom events. Remarkably every athlete that attended the games won a medal, solidifying Team Maccabi GB’s 2023 Winter Games delegation as one of the most successful in our International Games history. A huge congratulations to all those who were involved.

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