Fairbanks Ranch residents win medals in tennis at 20th World Maccabiah Games


Fairbanks Ranch residents Judy and Larry Belinsky, along with Andy Harrison, recently returned from Israel where they won medals at the 20th Maccabiah Games. About 9,500 Jewish athletes from over 80 countries gathered at the third largest international sporting competition in the world. Athletes from 43 sports competed at the “Jewish Olympics” as they tested their skills in one of four Maccabiah divisions – Junior, Open, Masters and Paralympics. The Belinskys and Harrison all competed in Masters Tennis.

Harrison won gold medals in both events he played – Masters 70 singles and Men’s 70 doubles. His division was contested on clay courts. It was his first trip to Israel and his first Maccabiah experience.

Like Harrison, in her first Maccabiah Games, Judy Belinsky won gold in Women’s 60 singles and took bronze with her husband, Larry, in the combined 55/60 Mixed Doubles division. Through the course of the tournament, Judy dropped only a total of six games in her singles matches played. Conditions were brutal as temperatures were in the low ’90s with extreme humidity.

Larry was hoping to do better than when he last competed in the Games 24 years ago in 1993. Once again, he took silver, losing to an Israeli in a hard-fought final 3-6 6-7(2) in Men’s 60 singles. Along the way, he defeated opponents from Argentina, Canada, Israel and Great Britain. He and wife, Judy, held the distinction of not only being the only husband and wife that competed, but also to win medals at the Games.

The Belinskys and Harrison competed at the Israeli Tennis Center in Ramat Hasharon outside of Tel Aviv.

Opening Ceremonies took place in Jerusalem on Thursday, July 6 with Closing Ceremonies on Monday, July 17 in Latrun with the theme of the evening titled: “Higher. Better. Together.” Supermodel Bar Refaeli was the MC for the evening. She concluded with this: “Take with you the excitement, the love, and especially the togetherness of these Games.”