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‘Exciting’ family first for 14-time Maccabi legend

Posted: 04-May-2019 by PanAm Games 2019

“I’ve got a few…” jokes Sam Parasol OAM when asked about his Maccabi medal haul.

The 14-time Australian representative has done it all in the green and gold, but as he returns to compete once again, the table tennis star will actually be breaking new ground.

Parasol has never been to Mexico City, the venue that in July will host the Maccabi Pan-American Games, and when he graces the tables at his fourth edition of the event, he’ll once again be flanked by playing partner Raymond Rosen.

                  

The pair last competed together at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel and will now reunite as the lone Aussie competitors in their sport 10 years down the track.

“I suggested to him [Rosen] to come and he jumped at it,” Parasol said.

“We train a minimum of three times a week, play pennant competitions once a week included in that, try and do some physical training as well.

“Table tennis they say is the fastest ball game in the world, if you think about it you’re playing over short distance and hitting the ball very quickly all the time, so you have to have good reflexes and mobility.”

Parasol is relishing the opportunity to revel in the camaraderie of yet another Pan-American Games experience, particularly excited by the well-noted advantage that the entire Aussie team stays in the same hotel. A caveat that provides a counterpoint to the Maccabiah Games.

The veteran will also enjoy a touching family moment in Mexico, as he’s joined in the green and gold by his grandson Joel – a member of the junior football team.

It’s another chapter in the Parasol Maccabi dynasty, with a third generation set to pull on the jersey as the connection stretches beyond an incredible 50 years.

                    

“This is going to be my 14th time representing Australia at Pan-American Games, so I’ve been around a few years now,” Parasol said.

“My grandson Joel is in the junior soccer team, so it will be good to be part of the team together, our family has a long Maccabi history now – well over 50 years – so this will be the third generation Maccabi member from my family so I’m pretty excited about that.

“My eldest son David was the team manager for the Victorian team last Junior Carnival, and my seconds on Daniel has been a board member of Maccabi Australia so the line of heritage is continuing on.”

The table tennis duo of Parasol and Rosen will bring legions of experience to a big Australian contingent and will be keen to add to the medal tally once again.