Fair Game News Logo

Maccabiah Update: USA Women’s Squash Takes Team Silver

July 21, 2009 – 1:25 PM
Sarah Odell, member Team USA
Sarah Odell, Team USA

Sarah Odell has been competing in Israel as a member of the US Squash Team at the Maccabiah Games, where 7,000 athletes from 60 countries are competing for medals and bonding over their common Jewish heritage. Among the participants is American swimmer Jason Lezak, whose role as anchor in the freestyle relay at the Bejing Olympics helped Michael Phelps capture one of his eight gold medals. Read a complete account of Sarah’s experience here. I wondered what it felt like to compete for the USA and — yep — whether the balls really ARE bouncier in the heat. Oh, and the results. Here’s what Sarah shares:

By Sarah Odell

Once I stepped on the court for the team matches, I felt just as competitive as at any other match. The venue itself isn’t much larger than any of our college arenas, but there are more fans.

The difference between this and other competitions is that after the matches, regardless of the outcome, all of the athletes have a great camaraderie.  We go out to dinner with the Brits, the Canadians and the Israelis. We spend our free time together exploring Jerusalem or sitting by the pool. We have amazing political discussions about Israel and all share our common bond with this land.

I felt the weight of competing for my country when I first stepped on court wearing the USA shirt, but after I played out my first point, I could actually feel that it was a game just like any other. A different opponent, a different venue, a different team shirt — although, winning the silver for the USA was pretty sweet.

Men’s and women’s USA teams won silver independently. We beat Canada and Great Britain – and lost to Israel in the gold medal finals. Individual competitions take place next.

And for the record: Yes, the balls are bouncier (though we managed!). Sometimes after play, they are actually hot to the touch.

From the opening ceremonies

From the opening ceremonies

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.