There are very few athletes that ever get the feeling of competing in the red, white and blue with “USA” across your chest.

Rising junior Nicole Piercy of the University of Richmond Swimming & Diving team will be one of those elite groups after being named to the Maccabi USA squad for the 20th World Maccabiah Games this summer in Israel.

Piercy is a member of the 24-person Maccabi USA Open swimming team, which was announced on Wednesday afternoon.

In just two seasons with the Spiders, Piercy has made quite an impact earning 2016 Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Rookie and winning bronze in the 1,650m free at this past year’s Atlantic 10 Championships. Piercy and the Spiders have won A-10 titles in both seasons.

The Newport News, Va. native will be a part of the World Games, which will take place July 4-18, 2017 in Israel and will bring together over 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries, participating in 43 sports.

Since 1932, over 62,000 athletes have participated in the Maccabiah Games, in a celebration of Jewish Strength and Solidarity. Team USA’s success is not only measured by the medals won, but by the impact that the Maccabiah experience had on their lives as well as the friendships they formed.

Maccabi USA builds Jewish pride through sports, generating the emotional intensity, high ideals, and powerful camaraderie of competition.  We connect athletes, volunteers, and supporters with the global Jewish community.  Our athletic, educational, and cultural experiences build Jewish identity, perpetuate Jewish continuity worldwide, and strengthen support for the State of Israel.