Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

DU to host Maccabi Games events

Shalom, young Jewish athletes. 

This weekend, thousands of competitors from across the country will arrive at DU to participate in the Maccabi Games, or the “Jewish Olympics.” DU will host several athletic competitions, along with other Denver-area venues, Aug. 1–5.

The Maccabi Games introduce a range of Olympic-style sports designed to cultivate an understanding and appreciation of Jewish values among Jewish teens. By enriching their identity in an informal setting, founders hope to encourage young people to identify with Israel. 

Opening ceremonies will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday in DU’s Magness Arena. Contenders will participate in a loop of the arena surrounded by their families and peers. Organizers anticipate 6,000 spectators will attend. Local celebrities the Flobots will perform at the games that night.

DU’s Hamilton Gymnasium, El Pomar Natatorium, and Barton Lacrosse Stadium will host basketball, swimming, and flag football, respectively.

DU is fortunate to host the games, says Michael Burns, director of Ritchie Center community events, because it will increase the University’s visibility.

“This event will give us access to people outside of our community and a chance to show them what we’re made of,” Burns says. “We now have the facilities and staff to support this type of large-scale event.

After the opening ceremony, approximately 2,000 participants are expected to take part in the festivities on campus throughout the week. The closing ceremony will be Thursday evening in the Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

Tickets to events are free, but spectators must register online and pick up tickets at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center. To register or find more information, visit

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