Dana Mathewson to serve as Team USA flagbearer at the 2023 Parapan Games
Top-ranked American wheelchair tennis player Dana Mathewson will have the honor of being one of Team USA’s two flag-bearers for the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
The honor is a fitting tribute for Mathewson, who has been the highest-ranking American woman in the world wheelchair tennis rankings for much of her career.
The first American woman to ever win a Grand Slam title in wheelchair tennis when she partnered Japan's Yui Kamiji to victory in doubles at Wimbledon last summer, Mathewson is a two-time Paralympian, as well as the 2019 Parapan American Games singles bronze medalist and doubles gold medalist. She is one of the 240 American athletes looking to bring home gold from Chile this year.
Held every four years and one year ahead of the Paralympic Games, the Parapan American Games are the largest multi-sport event in the Americas, and finishing on top of the podium would assure Mathewson of an automatic berth at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris next summer.
"Being a flag bearer for Team USA is an honor that I honestly never thought I would have, and never will forget," Mathewson said. "Wearing USA on my back and competing for my teammates and my country has been some of my favorite memories of my sporting career and this will be up there with the best of them. I'm so excited for the opportunity."
The opening ceremony for the 2023 Parapan American Games is this Friday, Nov. 17, and the Games run through Nov. 26. Mathewson will lead the U.S. delegation at the opening ceremony alongside U.S. Paralympic Judo athlete Ben Goodrich.