January 27, 2020

LA Business Developer Leads Polish Delegation at EU Maccabi Games

Father and son Neil and Harry Kaplan at the 2019 European Maccabi Games. Photo courtesy of PolandPassport.com
PolandPassport.com Founder and Head of Delegation for the Polish Maccabi Team and Captain of the Poland cycling team Neil Kaplan represented Poland at the European Maccabi Games from July 30 to Aug. 6. Over 2,300 athletes from 42 different nations competed in 19 disciplines at the annual Games held this year in Budapest, and originally hosted by Prague in 1929. 
The Opening Ceremony, held at Új Hidegkuti Nándor Stadium, began with the march of the delegations and ended with the arrival of the host Hungarian team. Each of the teams “poured colorful sand into a Star of David as a symbol of diversity and unity upon entering the stadium,” according to an article on PolandPassport.com.
The European Maccabi Games give top European athletes the opportunity to participate in the competition. The Games are held every four years and are always held two years after the Israeli Maccabiah Games.
Kaplan competed in the cycling time trial and road race competitions, finishing 17th in the cycling road race — a record finish for the Polish team.
“On behalf of Team Poland, I am delighted with the outcome of today’s race,” Kaplan said. “The course at Kincsesbánya was challenging and I gave it every ounce of energy that I had.” He added in a statement to the Journal, “I am honored to represent Poland with my son Harry on such a momentous occasion. Having been involved with Team Poland since 2017, I am proud to be part of the best of Jewish Polish athletes at the Games. We are looking forward to competing this week. Kudos to the Maccabi organization who did such a tremendous job in creating a spectacular event that will be remembered for a lifetime.”
Kaplan’s son, Harry, was the captain of the Polish fencing team and competed in the Junior Sabre and Foil competitions in both individual and team events. Harry won three medals in the fencing competitions and became “the first Polish athlete in Maccabi history to garner three medals during a single Games,” according to an article on PolandPassport.com.
Harry won second place in the individual and team Junior sabre events, and third in the Junior foil team event. He was the only fencer from Poland, but was part of an international team that finished on the podium in both team events.
“Carrying the flag last night on behalf of the Polish Jewish community [at the Opening Ceremonies] was such a great honor for me and even more exciting to share this great event with my Dad,” he said. “My sister, Julie, [was previously] the only Junior medalist in Polish Maccabiah games history (bronze, 2017) and I will give my all to continue our family legacy in Polish fencing.”