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Zach and Cori with their gold and silver medals respectively



by Rhonda J. Prepes, September 11, 2013

Athletes Cori and Zach Odwak, whose parents are Harry and Lisa Odwak, both scored big at the 19th Maccabiah games in Israel July 17-30, 2013.
Nineteen year old Cori Odwak helped bring home the silver medal for Canada in Women’s Open softball,  after the Canadian team lost 4 – 0 to the U.S. in the final game. Cori was on the Canadian team along with Winnipegger Amanda Greenberg and former Winnipegger Andrea Schaeffer and other members from Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.  Team members met and practised in Toronto in a two day tournament before heading off to the games. 
“I also practised all winter with the A Ball Winnipeg Angels team, the highest level of fast pitch softball in the city. I have played on this team for four years and now I am coaching and still playing,” said Cori.
Cori, who enjoys many sports, is a student at University of Manitoba in Science where she hopes to pursue a career in medicine. She was active in BBYO and now in Hillel.
“The most exciting part of the games for me was the opening ceremonies where we met the 9000 athletes from 78 countries who were competing in 42 sports. It was amazing to see all the athletes, the parents and the supporters,” said Cori.
Proud parents Harry and Lisa Odwak travelled to Israel to see their children compete.
“My parents always encouraged us to get involved with as many sports as possible,” said Cori and Zach.
Cori’s younger brother Zach, 16, helped bring home the gold medal for the Canadian Junior Hockey team, and was the lone Winnipegger on the team.  The rest of the 18 and under team members came from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Zach is a hockey enthusiast spending most of his time, practising, playing or training for hockey. He also plays in the BBYO floor hockey league. Last season he played for the AAA City Midget Monarchs Hockey team.
In grade 11 at Grant Park High School, Zach said, “The most exciting part of the games was the championship game where we won gold against the U.S. team 3 – 2.”
Lisa Odwak, their mother, told the WJR, "I was extremely proud of Cori and Zach for just getting chosen to represent team Canada for the games this year in Israel, but for both of them to come home with a medal was amazing! "

Father Harry Odwak added, "I have been blessed with two amazing children. They are both smart, athletic and all around good people. They have both given me many wonderful memories so far, but seeing them march in to Teddy stadium in Jerusalem representing Canada, is a memory that I will cherish forever!”

Cori and Zach had never been to Israel before. Zach told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that his favourite place in Israel was Masada. He toured with the Israel Experience and the Canadian junior athletes for five days before the junior games. He saw the Dead Sea, Caesarea, Jerusalem, the Western Wall and underground tunnels and he went river rafting in the Jordan River.
Cori said, “My favourite part of Israel was the old city of Jerusalem. I learned about Israel and the Western Wall throughout elementary school, and I finally got there. It was just amazing to see after hearing so much about it. And we took a tour of the underground tunnels, and learned all about the history of the old city which was really neat. Both of us also loved the Israeli beaches, as well.”
Cori and Zach both hope to return to the next Maccabiah games in Israel in four years.


Canada sent third largest delegation to the 2013 Maccabiah games behind Israel and the U.S. Canadians came in third place behind Israel and the U.S. winning 70 medals over all. 

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