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Dana Mathewson Wins Two Gold Medals at the Parapan American Games

Dana Mathewson won two gold medals at the 2023 Parapan American Games. Photo credit: USTA

Top-ranked American wheelchair tennis player Dana Mathewson had a Parapan American Games to remember last week in Santiago, Chile by winning a pair gold medals in women’s singles and doubles–two of the three medals that the U.S. team took home from the event in all.  

The San Diego native, a two-time Paralympian, will soon make it three.

Mathewson now has a total of four Parapan  medals to her name, and with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Colombia’s Angelica Bernal in the women’s singles, Mathewson earned an automatic bid to next summer’s Paralympic Games in Paris.  

In the doubles gold medal match, Mathewson and 16-year-old Maylee Phelps (Portland, Ore.) beat Brazil’s Maria Fernanda Alves and Meirycoll Duval in a match that came down to a few key points in the match tiebreak, 3-6, 6-2 10-8. 

Photo credit: USTA

“Once you get a taste of these medals, you want more,” Mathewson said in victory. “This has been an amazing time. I never expected to be the flag-bearer; I never expected to get two gold medals. It has been unbelievable.”

Mathewson previously started off her milestone week as one of Team USA’s two flag-bearers for the opening ceremony, an honor she shared with judo athlete Ben Goodrich, and when she returns to the U.S., she’ll get married in a week’s time.

The quad doubles team of David Wagner (Walla Walla, Wash./San Diego) and Andrew Bogdanov (Prescott, Ariz.) rounded out the U.S. medalists with a bronze.  Wagner and Bogdanov beat the Colombian team of Daniel Campaz and Albeiro Moreno, 6-4, 6-4, in the third-place match.

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.