Kevin Green still remembers the chills he got during the Maccabiah Games opening ceremonies in years past, as the Hatikvah serenaded a packed stadium.
“You march in with your country, your letters on your back from your country, it’s really special,” Green said. “It’s a huge show and very, very powerful.”
He particularly treasures the 2013 opening ceremonies, when he marched in with his son Zack, who competed in the Tennis Junior Category. That was a point of pride, shared with his entire family in attendance, and a moment Green says he’ll never forget.
This will be his sixth time representing Canada in the Maccabiah Games; the first time was back in 1985. This year, Green will be playing in the Over 60 category. He says he’s not trophy hunting, but aims to play his best. For Green, this experience is more about camaraderie than competition.
“It’s fascinating to see Jews from the Diaspora all in Israel,” Green said. “It’s similar being Jewish anywhere you go. We may all have different accents and different cultures, but we’re all Jewish and we’re all together.”
As the International Chair for Israel Tennis & Education Centers, Green is looking forward to hosting some Maccabiah Games events at ITEC Ramat Hasharon. He hopes the world will fully understand the impact ITEC is having on all the children in Israel. Green will help to share ITEC’s mission, highlighting the educational programs ITEC offers and sharing why ITEC is an important piece of the fabric of Israeli society.
Nicknamed “The Green Machine” when he was a ranked tennis player in Canada, expect to see Green play fiercely and talk about ITEC fondly. He says he gets emotional just thinking about his ITEC friends, who are now part of his extended family.