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Philadelphia, PA, November 28 – The weekend of December 1-2, the Maccabi USA 19th Maccabiah Games Gymnastics Trials and Juniors Gymnastics Invitational will take place at Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy in Norman, Oklahoma. This event will bring more than forty Division I athletes from around the United States to compete for a spot on the Maccabi USA Open Gymnastics team participating in the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 2013.

The Juniors Gymnastics Invitational event, also taking place this weekend, will expose many young Jewish gymnasts to a high level of competition.  The athletes participating in the Invitational come from across the USA and young gymnasts from Israel, Mexico, Canada, Argentina and Hungary have also been invited to participate in the Invitational.

Attending the Ttrials and Invitational this weekend will be Olympian Mitch Gaylord.  At the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, Mitch led the gold medal-winning U.S. Men’s Gymnastics Team, becoming the first American Gymnast to score a perfect 10.0 in the Olympics. He is also an alumnus of the 1981 Maccabi USA Open Men’s Gymnastics team, winning six gold medals and one silver medal.  Mitch will share firsthand his Olympic and Maccabiah experiences with the athletes participating in the Trials and Invitational.

Ben Fox is one of three Overall Sports Directors for the 19th Maccabiah USA Organizing Committee and oversees Gymnastics.  He has been involved in Maccabi USA Gymnastics since 2004 and this will be the third Invitational and second Maccabiah Tryout he is hosting in Norman, OK.

“Fred Turoff, Olympian and Head Coach at Temple University, asked me in 2004 if I could help select the team for the 17th Maccabiah Games in the summer of 2005,” said Fox. “I had competed at the 1981 Maccabiah Games as a member of the Open Gymnastics Team and felt this would be a good way to give back to the organization. I currently run a large gymnastics center and have been the meet director of a number of meets, including regional and Junior National Championships competitions. I felt this would be a great way to help out and give back.”

Events this weekend will  include a Havdalah service that will take place at the University of Oklahoma’s Hillel which will be followed by a welcoming banquet for all the athletes. This event will not only serve as an athletic event, but also a bonding experience for the Jewish athletes from all over the USA as well as the international participants.

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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