Philadelphia, PA, December 5 – Marcus Schlesinger, a Junior at Ouachita Baptist University, qualified for the U.S. 2012 Olympic trials in the 100m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly.  Schlesinger will be part of the 330-member USA Delegation competing at the 12th Pan Am Maccabi Games in São Paulo, Brazil from December 26, 2011 – January 2, 2012. He will join other Jewish athletes to compete as members of 25 teams in nine sports, some of whom are on the precipice of entering the professional sports arena.

The 25 teams are created by age (Juniors, Youth, Open and Masters) and gender.  The nine Sports that the USA Teams will compete in are: Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball and Water Polo.  The 330-member Delegation also includes Coaches, a Management Team and a Medical Team.  USA Delegation members come from 23 states and the District of Columbia and are current students or alumni of over 27 colleges and University’s including: Claremont McKenna College, Michigan State University, Ouachita Baptist University, U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California and Yale University.

In addition to the 330-member delegation, the USA will be bringing over 100 supporters to Brazil to cheer on the Team.  There will be 25 families participating in the Games as members of the USA Delegation.  This includes the General Chairman of the Maccabi USA Team, Fred Cohen – also a Masters Softball athlete – and his wife Dhana, who is Co-chairing the supporters program.

“I’m always excited to compete myself, and that is how I got involved with Maccabi USA,” said Cohen.  “I love the aspect of ‘Building Jewish Pride through Sports’ and have since become involved with the leadership of the organization.  The Maccabi Movement has become a way of life for my family.” Cohen continued, “The experiences and memories have made a tremendous impact on my wife and kids and we all love being part of the Maccabi family.  I am excited that there are so many other families participating in what will be a life-changing experience for our athletes.  Team USA is lucky to have such a great team of professionals including our Team Manager, Jeff Schulman, a top-notch medical team and so many accomplished coaches and athletes.  I am honored to be the General Chair of Team USA!”

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 co-founder 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.