Five swimmers from the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic Club competed at the Maccabiah Games held Israel in late July and early August.
Mayor Anthony Housefather won seven medals for Canada in the masters division and David Hartal and Mikoh Benrimoh also each won two medals in the junior division. Alexandra Obrand and Robbie Laxer were also on the Canadian team and just missed the podium. Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic Director Martin Levine coached the Canadian swim team.
“I was very pleased with my times and was honoured to represent my country,” said Mayor Housefather, who missed a gold medal by four tenths of a second in the 400 metre freestyle.
Mayor Housefather won silver medals in the open water swim, the 100 metre butterfly, the 400 metre freestyle, the 50 metre backstroke and the medley relay. He won a bronze in the 200 metre freestyle, and the freestyle relay. Hartal and Benrimoh both won two bronze medals in the freestyle and medley relays and Hartal just missed a bronze medal in the 100 freestyle.
“I was a competitive swimmer in my teens,” said Mayor Housefather. “At a certain point I burned out and switched to water polo and then other sports but I decided to get back into competitive swimming when we launched our Côte Saint-Luc Sharks outdoor swimming team in 2009 and built the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre in 2011. My goal has always been to build an aquatic culture in Cote Saint-Luc similar to what existed on the West Island when I was growing up and the rapid growth of our youth swim team and masters teams leads me to believe we will have a majority of the Maccabiah swim team coming from our club four years from now.”
The Maccabiah Games is an international Jewish athletic event, held in Israel every four years. The first Maccabiah Games were in 1932. The 2013 competition had 9,000 athletes from more than 70 countries competing in more than 30 athletic events. Canada sent a delegation of approximately 600 competitors and officials.
“Anthony is an inspiration to those adults who lead busy lives,” said Councillor Mitchell Brownstein, the council member responsible for parks and recreation issues. “In addition to his job as General Counsel of a multinational computer company, being mayor of the city, and defending the rights of bilingual municipalities, Anthony finds time for high-level athletic competition. It takes a lot of discipline and commitment to train every day the way he does.”
- Housefather “racking up medals” (gjnashen.wordpress.com)
- Housefather harvests seven medals from Maccabiah waters (Suburban Newspaper)
On Oct. 23, 2013, D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman rose in the National Assembly to make the following declaration:
Féliciter M. Anthony Housefather, gagnant de sept médailles aux Jeux de Maccabiah
M. Bergman : M. le Président, j’aimerais féliciter le maire de Côte-Saint-Luc, Anthony Housefather, qui s’est distingué lors des Jeux de Maccabiah, qui se sont tenus en Israël cet été. Anthony Housefather won seven medals for Canada in the Masters division of the swimming competition during the last Maccabiah Games. M. Housefather est certainement une source d’inspiration, autant pour les jeunes que pour les adultes, qui cumule plusieurs responsabilités. Mayor Housefather, qui est avocat-conseil pour une compagnie multinationale en plus d’être un maire bien-aimé d’une municipalité, trouve le temps et l’énergie, mais aussi la détermination de s’entraîner pour être l’athlète de haut niveau qu’il est. Mayor Housefather, congratulations, you’re definitely a source of inspiration for us all. You show us that, even in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, determination and discipline can bring us even further. You’re also a superb and well-liked mayor of Côte-Saint-Luc. Thank you.