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Courtesy of: Martin-Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports
JERUSALEM, Israel, July 17. TWO-time Olympic medalist Garrett Weber-Gale has been chosen to carry the United States' flag during the Opening Ceremonies of the 19th Maccabiah Games. The opening ceremony will commence tomorrow, July 18, at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. Sporting events run July 17-30.

Weber-Gale took to Twitter to express his excitement and gratitude at the honor:

The Maccabiah Games are held in Israel every four years, providing athletes of Jewish descent an opportunity to experience Israeli and Jewish culture while racing against other Jewish athletes. Weber-Gale chose to not vie for a spot on the US World Championship team because of the opportunity to compete in the Maccabiah Games.

"I've wanted to do this for a long time, and I always knew that this year I would do it," Weber-Gale told Swimming World. "Just going to Israel and competing amongst other Jewish athletes is going to be a thrill and a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Mark Spitz, Jason Lezak and Lenny Krayzelburg have all competed in the Maccabiah Games. It is reported that the1965 Maccabiah Games were Spitz's first international competition, at age 15. Spitz also competed in the 1969 Games and lit the torch at the opening ceremonies of the 1985 Games. Lezak sat out the 2009 World Championships in Rome to compete in the 18th Maccabiah Games.

Garrett Weber-Gale is also a monthly contributor to Swimming World Magazine. In his Athletic Foodie column, Weber-Gale provides nutrition suggestions to help swimmers perform at his or her best, using anecdotes from his own experiences as a talented high school, collegiate and professional swimmer.

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