The time has come: Maccabiah 2022 is about to start. More than 10.000 athletes are coming to Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya and Tel Aviv in July. It's the greatest Maccabi World Games of all time - and you're in. My heartiest congratulations!
From my own time as an athlete, I still remember what it's like before big competitions: you've been preparing for this moment for months, you've trained early in the morning and late in the evening and you've given up so much. They go through the match plan a hundred times in their heads, discuss tactics or check their equipment again.
I'm sure: If you, as a German team, arrive at the Maccabiah 2022 together, then you will know that all the work was worth it.
Because regardless of whether you compete in these competitions in an individual or team discipline, whether you swim or gymnastics, play basketball or soccer: The Maccabiah is teamwork.
Jewish athletes from more than 80 countries compete in 47 disciplines. The fact that 230 athletes from Germany are also taking part is a wonderful sign of how active Jewish life is in Germany today.
I am particularly pleased that this year you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Maccabi World Union together with athletes from all over the world. Maccabi has been supporting Jewish athletes for a century. With the Maccabi World Games, the Union has become synonymous with international Jewish sport.
You can be proud of this tradition. Because the Maccabiah is more than just sport. With their special mix of competition, culture and Jewish identity, they create community across borders.
I wish all athletes good luck and success for the upcoming competitions. And I keep my fingers crossed for our German team that they break their record from 2017 with 46 medals again!
With sporty greetings
Annalena Baerbock, MP
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs"