US Maccabiah Team Seeks Top Jewish Swimmers to Compete in 2005 Maccabiah Games in Israel

ATLANTA, December 24. THE United States Maccabiah Team is seeking outstanding Jewish swimmers who would like to represent the USA at the 2005 Maccabiah Games in Israel next July 10 – 21, according to Seth Baron, head coach of the US Maccabiah Swim Team and head coach at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

The deadline to apply is December 31.

The quadrennial, Olympics-style Maccabiah Games are expected to draw some 7,000 Jewish athletes from 60 nations participating in over 30 different sporting events in 2005. This makes it the fourth largest international competition and it is fully recognized by the International Olympic Committee and FINA, Baron said.

The best Jewish athletes come from all over the world to compete in the World Maccabiah Games, held in Israel every four years. For two unforgettable weeks, Jews of all ages and backgrounds convene to share their culture, their history and their values, in a world-class competition.

Among the Maccabiah Games alumni are swimmers Mark Spitz and Lenny Krayzelburg.

"We are looking for outstanding Jewish swimmers throughout the United States," Baron said.

The deadline to apply for team selection is December 31st. If you think you may qualify, visit the US team's official web site at: www.maccabiusa.com and apply today.

"The Maccabiah Games are among the top international sporting events in the world. There is something magical about the Maccabiah Games, a certain feeling that touches the heart and soul of everyone who participates," Baron said. "It's not a feeling that abruptly fades away at the conclusion of the competition. Rather, it lasts a lifetime."

The Maccabi movement, is named for Judah (The Hammer) Maccabee, who in 167-169 BCE led a successful revolt against the Greeks, who were occupying the land of Israel. (That success is celebrated on the holiday of Chanukah.)

The Maccabi sports movement was initiated in 1895-96 when the first all-Jewish Maccabi gymnastics club was formed in Constantinople (now, Istanbul). By the end of World War I, more than 100 Maccabi-style clubs existed in Europe.

The first Maccabiah Games, featuring 14 countries and 390 athletes, was held in 1932. World events forced the delay of the third Maccabiah Games, scheduled for 1938, until 1950. The Maccabiah Games have been a quadrennial event since 1957.

Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel sponsors U.S. participation in this
athletic, cultural and educational extravaganza. Maccabiah Games alumni include swimmers Mark Spitz and Lenny Krayzelburg, gymnasts Mitch Gaylord and Kerri Strug, National Basketball Association stars Ernie Grunfeld, Dolph Schayes and Danny Schayes, golfer Bruce Fleisher, tennis pros Brad Gilbert and Dick Savitt, World Cup soccer star Jeff Agoos and Olympic triathlete Joanna Zeiger.

Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel issued the following statement:

"Through a new program known as Yachad – Hebrew for "together" – every member of the team that represents the U.S. will raise money in support of the projects of Maccabi USA and the Maccabiah. This 'shared commitment' program has been implemented to ensure the continued success of the Maccabiah Games.

"The U.S. delegation will again participate in a pre-camp cultural/
education program during which time the entire US Team visits
important cultural and historical sites throughout the State of Israel. The US athletes have the chance to bond with each other and at the same time to learn from Israeli experts about their heritage, culture and the history of Israel. This program, begun in 1989, is one of the highlights for Team USA during the Maccabiah experience. When the American participants return home, they bring back to their communities a strong sense of their Jewish identity and a heightened awareness of Israel.

"The 17th Maccabiah Games will be held July 10-21, 2005.

"Opening Ceremonies on July 11, 2005 in Ramat Gan Stadium.

We are expecting a 600-700 member USA delegation.

Deadline to apply:
December 31st.

Team Selection:
Mid-January

Selection Process:
Must apply to be considered for the team. Selection
based upon best times from Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2004.

Team Size:
12 men & 12 women for Open Competition
12 Boys & 12 girls for Junior Competition (born 87, 88, 89, 90)

USA Coaching Staff (open/national team):
Seth Baron, Head Coach (head coach at Georgia Tech for M&W)
Barry Roffer, Assistant Coach (head coach at Three Village Swim Team)

(junior team);
Aaron Swartzman, Head Coach (International YMCA, Orlando, FL)
Glenn Neufeld, Assistant Coach (UMLY)

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