Ben Goodrich Named Parapan American Games Opening Ceremony Flagbearer
by Nicole Jomantas
(Colorado Springs, CO) – Tokyo Paralympic silver medalist Ben Goodrich (St. Paul, MN) will lead Team USA at the Opening Ceremony of the Parapan American Games as the flagbearer for the delegation that includes nearly 300 athletes.
Goodrich, who won silver at the 2019 Parapan American Games, will join two-time Paralympic wheelchair tennis player Dana Mathewson (San Diego, CA) as Team USA’s flagbearers during the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
“The honor of carrying the American flag for Opening Ceremony means a lot to me. The Paralympic Movement shows the world some amazing stories of triumph over adversity. My story is only one of many,” Goodrich said. “My career in judo has given me a lot and taken very little, if we don't count the blood sweat and tears. It is humbling to have received the support of so many athletes who think I will be the best representative for the team.”
Goodrich will compete for Team USA on Monday at his third Parapan American Games in the 90 kg division where he is seeking to earn qualification points for his third straight Paralympic Games.
“This will be my third Parapan Am Games, but hopefully the second one that I will medal in and I am really hoping that it will be a turning point in the qualification period for Paris 2024 to prove that I am on the right path and can make my way back to the podium next year.”
Goodrich is the first USA Judo athlete to carry the flag for Team USA at an Opening Ceremony of a Games since 2000 Paralympic Champion Kevin Szott (Clifton, NJ) was named flagbearer for Team USA at the 2004 Paralympic Games.