Longboat Key resident Larry Greenspon plans to go for the gold.
He’s competing in the men’s 65-and-up division in the Maccabiah Games, aka “the Jewish Olympics,” that will take place from July 17 through July 30, at various locations in Israel.
Does he think he has a shot?
“The competition varies, but for my age division, it’s the strongest team they’ve put together in my age division,” he said.
Singles will be difficult, because he’ll be competing against the No. 1 player in the world for his age division. But that player is also on Greenspon’s team, so Greenspon thinks he might have a better shot at bringing home a team gold medal.
The Maccabiah Games have special meaning to Greenspon, who is the founder/CEO of L.D.R. Industries, a manufacturing company.
His first trip to Israel was in 2001, when he competed at the event for the first time. He won the silver medal for the men’s 50s division in doubles.
The competition introduced him not only to Israel, but also to Israel Children’s Tennis Centers, which offers tennis programs to the country’s underprivileged children with the goal of also improving their social, psychological and physical development.
Today, Greenspon is the international chair of the organization; and he’ll be competing at one of its facilities in Ramat Hasharon.
Greenspon qualified for the event last year during tryouts in Boca Grande. Leading up to the Maccabiah Games, he has been training daily at the Longboat Key Club & Resort and near his home in North Carolina.
But, regardless of whether he brings home a medal, this year’s games will be memorable.
“For me, it’s very special being the Israel Tennis Centers chair and to be playing the tournaments at the center,” he says.
Neighborhood: North end, Gulfside
Neighbor since: 1991
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].