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The Sixth Maccabiah   5721

August 29 to September 5, 1961

Basic Facts

  • 1,100 participants from 26 countries who competed in 20 categories
  • The Sixth Maccabiah was the first to be held at the end of summer vacation so that it would be easier for Diaspora athletes, mainly students, to participate (Heretofore the games had always taken place on Succot so that Israeli school children would be able to perform in the ceremonial pageants.) 
  • For the first time, the Staff and the Organizing Commitee operated from Kfar Maccabiah.    
  • For the first time ever, two children of past gold medal winners – won medals on their own merit. The children of Philip Oberlander of Canada and Michael Wittneberg from the US, followed in their father’s footsteps and won medals. 

Notable Athletes, Winners, and Sports Achievements

  • Mike Herman of the US, who was first in the decathlon, the pole vault and the broad jump, won the Savislotsky Medal for Outstanding Athlete. 
  • Track and field competitions were the main events, and most of the former running and jumping records were broken. 
  • Madeline Bergman from Australia (first place in 200 and 800 meter races) was awarded the Sports Authority Trophy for outstanding female athlete.
  • The United States delegation received the Leip Meyers Trophy for the most gold medals (58; Israel won only 28-1/2). 
  • American swimmer Dave Krotsky
  • Swimmer Jane Katz
  • Sharpshooter Milton Friend
  • World champion wrestler Steve Friedman
  • Olympic athlete Dave Segal
  • Olympic fencing champion Alan Jay 
  • Italian fencer Vera Montebani
  • Roberto Fortaloni 
  • United States tennis player Dick Savett won 2 Gold Medals
  • Gary Gobner from the US, set a new record:3 Gold Medals in shot put, discus throw and weightlifting
  • The guests of honor, Olympic champions Rafer Johnson (decathlon) and John Thomas (high jump) gave exciting showcase performances.

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