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Aspinwall's Skirbollto lead U.S. swim team at Maccabi Games

| Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
Aspinwall resident Jim Skirboll, pictured with his daughter Zoe, will coach the U.S. swim team at the European Maccabi games.
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Aspinwall resident Jim Skirboll, pictured with his daughter Zoe, will coach the U.S. swim team at the European Maccabi games.

Jim Skirboll, a resident of Aspinwall, will be heading to Berlin at the end of July along with the U.S. 15-and-older swim team to compete in the European Maccabi Games.

Skirboll, who is the swim coach for a club team in the Pine-Richland area and also at the Fox Chapel Racquet Club, learned in April that he would be coaching the team. “A close friend of mine told me that I should apply for the position so I did,” he said. “It should be exciting. This will be my first experience in international competition and also my first time in Berlin.”

The U.S team will feature swimmers from New York, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Minnesota, Texas and a few other states. His daughter, Zoe, will not be part of the team, but it's not because of a lack of talent. She has been breaking records in her age group at the national level for several years.

“I was hoping we could get her on the team, but she's only 10 years old,” Skirboll said. “I know she would have done well, but there are age restrictions involved.”

Skirboll is confident about the team he will be taking to Europe.

“I've been looking at the stats from some of the other teams and we match up very well,” he said. “I think we'll do quite well, and we will be strong in every event. I wouldn't be surprised if we finish 1-2 in some of the events.”

There is one drawback to Skirboll's trip. Zoe will be taking part in Junior Olympic swimming events while he is away.

“I wish I could be there,” he said. “I asked her if she wanted me to attend the Junior Olympics, and she told me that I need to go to the Maccabi Games because it would be an experience of a lifetime for me. She told me not to worry because she'll have a lot of Junior Olympic swimming events in her future.”

Marty Stewart is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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