Wesleyan’s Orian Bar earns a gold medal in women’s soccer as a member of Team USA at the 14th Pan American Maccabi Games in Mexico City, Mexico, July 5-15.
The U.S. women defeated Brazil 1-0 in the finals to capture the gold medal.
Bar is a member of the 14-player U.S. women’s open soccer team joining over 400 American athletes at the games, where 2,500 Jewish athletes representing 19 countries competed in 24 sports.
For any athlete, competing on the world stage as a representative of their country is a dream come true.
“Getting to represent Team USA in the Pan-American Maccabi Games is a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Bar. “It is such an honor being able to play for the country I love while making lifelong friendships with fellow Jewish athletes from around the world.”
Bar, a rising sophomore at West Virginia Wesleyan College, made an immediate impact playing all 90 minutes of each game at the center back position.
The Pan American Maccabi Games are held every four years, in a cycle two years apart from the World Maccabiah Games, the third-largest international sporting event. The Pan American games bring athletes from North, Central, and South America, along with others from selected countries.
A number of notable American athletes have participated in the Maccabiah Games, including Olympic gold medalist swimmers Mark Spitz and Jason Lezak, gymnasts Aly Raisman and Mitch Gaylord, NBA basketball player and team executive Ernie Grunfeld; along with professional golfer Corey Pavin and Hall of Fame tennis player Dick Savitt.