Sandy Springs brothers Geordie and Jake Francombe brought home three silver medals combined at this summer’s JCC (Jewish Community Center) Maccabi Games.
The Maccabi Games, which took place at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s campuses and other Atlanta sites July 28 through Aug. 2, are an Olympic-style competition for Jewish teenagers. This year’s Games were also held in Detroit Aug. 4 through 8, and they’re held in a different city in North America each year.
It’s the second-largest organized sports program for Jewish teens in the globe. Athletes ranging in age from 12 to 16 from around the world compete in 14 different sports, perform community service and promote human values.
This year, Maccabi Team Atlanta’s nearly 600 athletes welcomed 1,000 athletes from 35 visiting delegations from across the U.S., Panama, Israel and Mexico. Hundreds of bronze, silver, and gold medals were given to the athletes who competed in each of the 14 categories.
Geordie, 13, won silver medals in table tennis (14-and-under singles play and round-robin team play). Jake, 15, took silver in soccer while playing for Team Atlanta’s 16-and-under Red squad.
“What an amazing week,” Geordie said in a news release.
“I met tons of new friends from around the world, and my brother and I both got to take home silver medals in our hometown.”
Said Jake, “I loved playing soccer for Team Atlanta. A highlight of the week was hanging out with all of my new friends at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for closing ceremonies, after my team won the silver medal.”
Some other highlights of the Games included: the first inclusive JCC Maccabi Games host city — having athletes with special needs in competition in the Games; Star Reporters — teens who shared the stories of the 2019 Games through participants’ lenses and in their voices; the inaugural gaming and esports category at Maccabi Atlanta; and the Community Service Projects Initiative, JCC Cares, in which the MJCCA partnered with the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled and Shepherd Center.
“I loved winning two silver medals for Team Atlanta in table tennis,” Geordie said.
“We played against some great teams and we even traded jerseys after the Games were over. I had so much fun the entire week of Maccabi – the entertainment, fun activities, community service, and the Games. My brother and I will never forget it.”
In a statement, those involved with the Maccabi Games in Atlanta said the competition was a huge success.
“We were lucky to partner with many supporters in our community – the Marist School, Blackburn Park, Concorde Fire and Sandy Springs Tennis Center,” Maccabi Games co-chair Amy Rubin said. “We also had evening events at Nitro Zone, The Georgia Aquarium and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We were able to highlight some amazing Atlanta attractions and were fortunate enough to have their support. Our community had a chance to shine and we are grateful.”
Said MJCCA CEO Jared Powers, “I am so proud of how our entire community came together to host this magical week of competition, community service, and friendship. The MJCCA is beyond thankful to the MANY people who played a part in making the 2019 JCC Maccabi Games so impactful and meaningful to so many.”