PHILADELPHIA, Penn., May 24. LENNY Krayzelburg, a triple-gold medalist from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has been named the Honorary Captain of the United States Maccabiah Team, which will compete at the 17th Maccabiah Games, scheduled for Israel in July. The Games are a quadrennial Olympic-style competition for Jewish athletes.
Krayzelburg competed in the Maccabiah Games in 2001, a year after he won the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the Sydney Olympics. He also led off the United States’ 400 medley relay, which captured gold. At the 2001 Maccabiah Games, Krayzelburg was the flag-bearer for the United States delegation during the Opening Ceremony.
"In 2001, (for the 16th Games), Lenny Krayzelburg made personal sacrifices in order to make a clear, loud statement that his Jewishness and solidarity with Israel was paramount in his life,” said Jordan Weinstein, the chairman of the U.S. Maccabiah Committee. “Lenny's decision said to all other American Jewish athletes, 'Follow me.' His participation in the 16th Maccabiah was the watershed mark which revitalized the Games and the State of Israel."
Four years ago, Krayzelburg won two gold medals in Maccabiah competition and established a pair of records. This year, the United States will send approximately 800 athletes to Israel, including Scott Goldblatt, a U.S. Olympian and former University of Texas standout.
"To me (the) Maccabiah Games represent a life changing event that affects many people and I am proud to be one of them,” Krayzelburg said. “This is a special time to be part of the U.S. delegation and an honorary team captain."
Aside from competing in the Maccabiah Games, Krayzelburg will be inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, an institution that includes the likes of Mark Spitz and Hank Greenberg, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.