Brianna Robins – 1851 Staff
If you asked Chelsea Zeig seven years ago about participating in the Maccabiah Games, she probably would have said you’re crazy. Zeig is senior from West Nyack, New York majoring in Curriculum and Instruction. Seven years ago, Zeig started her career as a track athlete with her volleyball coach encouraging her to do a second sport to stay in shape. Zeig refers to herself as a “shot putter,” but she also participates in other throwing events including discus, weight throw, javelin, and hammer.
Just as the actual Olympics, the Maccabiah Games, also referred to as the Jewish Olympics, occur every four years, specifically the year following the Olympics, in Israel. The Maccabiah Games include Jewish athletes from 80 different countries competing in 30 different sports. Unlike the Olympics, the Maccabiah Games have four different divisions, which are divided by age brackets. Zeig was fortunate enough to be selected to represent Team USA as a women’s track thrower.
Zeig had many great experiences during her trip to Israel. The three best experiences there were visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Opening Ceremonies in Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, and finding out she had earned a personal record in the shot put.
During competition, Zeig was running back and forth between the hammer event and the shot put event. “This was the time I thought I could put in my weeks of training into this one moment,” said Zeig.
Following the throw, the official informed her that her throw was 11.04 meters, which was a half meter more than her last personal record.
“I did a fist pump in the air, bent over and actually started to cry. Thinking back, I still get a bit emotional,” said Zeig.
Zeig keeps in touch with those she met overseas. Not only does she keep in touch with her track teammates, but she is also trying to plan some kind of reunion. “It’s tough,” said Chelsea Zeig. “[The team] consists of 28 people, from Florida to California. If it weren’t for today’s technology, I don’t know how we would keep in touch.”