I can't imagine this is going to get a lot of responses, but the Maccabei games kicks off in Israel on July 18 and for the first time since 1997 ice hockey is back in the games.
For those of you who don't know (I assume that is everyone) the Maccabei games are the jewish olympics. Before you laugh, I bet you didn't know that the Maccabei games are the 3rd largest games in the world behind the Olympics and World University Games. There are over 9000 athletes competing from over 100 countries.
The only ice rink in Israel is the Canada Center which is located in Metulla on the northern boarder of Israel, about 100 feet from Lebanon so I'm told.
There are 3 divisions, junior, open and Masters which is over 40 and non check.
Canada's open team is coached by Mike Keenan. Billy Jaffe is coaching USA. Jaques Demers is coaching Canada's masters team.
I'll be playing for team USA in the masters division. There are 4 teams in our division, USA, Canada, Russia and Israel.
As an over 40 year old this is quite exciting. PLaying organized hockey for the first time in 20 years is quite a thrill. We've had a few training camps all over the country trying to get ready. The games will be on Olympic sized ice and 20 minute periods. We'll play 5 games in 5 days. As a bunch of guys over 40 who are used to playing beer league I imagine it will be quite a shock to our bodies.
I'm heading over there in a week. Aside from the games, we will be doing lots of sightseeing. As a team we've grown really close so this should be an amazing trip. I don't know where we'll stack up with the competition, but the experience alone is going to be unforgettable.
I know its not the real olympics, but the chance to put on the USA sweater and represent my country is something I dreamed of my whole life and never in a million years thought it would happen.
Would be interested to hear if anyone else who posts here is involved in the games?