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Philadelphia, PA, January 16 – Rick Ehrlich, USA Chairman Open Swimming, 19th Maccabiah Games, announced the appointment of Garrett Weber-Gale to the USA Swim Team competing at the Maccabiah Games in July. The two-time Olympic gold medal winner will contribute his powerhouse strength and skill to the team and will be an inspiration to all the swimmers on the team.

“I am very excited to have Garrett on our team.  He will be a real inspiration as he is one of the most respected swimmers in the U.S.,” Ehrlich said. “Having a two-time Olympic gold medalist on the team and hanging out with our swimmers will be an invaluable experience for all the athletes. Garrett will be an integral part of our team’s success.”

Weber-Gale was a member of the USA 4x100m freestyle relay team with Cullen Jones, Michael Phelps, and Jason Lezak, a Maccabiah Alumnus, where they won the gold medal and set the world record at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. All members of the relay won an ESPY award from ESPN for the best sports moment of the year. Weber-Gale won his second gold medal at the 2008 Olympics as part of the 400m medley relay. Additionally, he has won gold medals at six World Championships in 2005, ‘07, ‘09, ’10, ’11 and ’12. He was U.S. National Champion in the 100m freestyles in 2004, 2008, and 2011 as well as a gold, silver, and bronze medalist at the 2010 and 2011 World Championships. Garrett has held the American record in both the 50m and 100m freestyles, and was the first American to break 48 seconds in the 100m freestyle.

“I am so happy and honored to be a part of the 2013 Maccabiah team. For a long time I have wanted to compete in Israel at the Maccabiah Games, and I couldn’t be more excited for this summer,” said Weber-Gale. “I can’t wait to experience Israel and have the cultural experience of both the Games and being around so many Jewish athletes.”

“I want to participate in the Maccabiah Games because I want to help continue to prove to the world that Jewish athletes can compete at the top levels of their sport,” he continued. “I plan on swimming fast in Israel.  I am excited to finally get an opportunity to see Israel and the holy land of the Jewish People. I am extremely proud of being a Jew and hope that this experience brings me closer to my Jewish heritage and culture.”

For more information about the Maccabiah Games or to schedule an interview with one of our athletes, please contact Sara Feinstein at 215.561.6900 x119.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.  The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.  As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.  It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.  MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport.  Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.

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