Pan American Games

by Jennifer Meyer and Cheryl Kirk

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  • 1GOLD
3Total Medals

XIX Pan American GamesU.S. Racquetball TeamMedal Tracker

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Five athletes, two coaches, an athletic trainer, and eight “cheerleaders” headed south (way south) to Santiago, Chile, the week of October 15 to represent the United States of America on what is arguably the World’s Second Biggest Stage (besides the Olympic Games themselves).

The five Team USA athletes, all of whom are National Champions in one or more divisions, were:

Daniel De La Rosa (San Antonio, TX), 1st Singles and 1st Men’s Doubles
Adam Manilla (San Jose, CA), 2nd Singles and 1st Mixed Doubles
Alejandro Landa (El Paso, TX), 1st Men’s Doubles
Erka Manilla (Centennial, CO), 1st Singles, 1st Women’s Doubles, 1st Mixed Doubles
Michelle Key (Gilbert, AZ), 1st Women’s Doubles

Staff members supporting the athletes were:

Pablo Fajre (Tracy, CA) – Head Coach
Jennifer Meyer (Fruita, CO) – Assistant Coach and on-site Team Leader
Rodger Fleming (Macon, GA) – Athletic Trainer
Cheryl Kirk (Naperville, IL) – Off-site Team Leader

In addition to the official delegation, Team USA was thrilled to have eight “cheerleaders” who were there in the stands at each of the competition sessions. USAR Board President Stewart Solomon, Rhys Andersen, Lacey Henderson, Darold Key, Karen Key, Nancy Manilla, Victor Manilla, and Hollie Scott made the trip to be there in support of our deserving athletes.

Delegation Timeline

Arrive in Santiago -- 10/16
Practice Days -- 10/17-20
Walk in Opening Ceremonies -- 10/20
Competition Days (9 sessions) -- 10/21-26
Finals and Awards -- 10/24 and 10/26
Depart from Santiago -- 10/27

Team USA Racquetball (athletes, coaches, trainer) resided in the Athletes’ Village along with more than 500 other Team USA athletes (plus staff members) representing 37 sports. The USOPC had presence in the Athletes’ Village as well. They are a hard-working staff assigned to the many logistics of providing a safe and smooth experience for Team USA.

The PAG Blogs that were published on USA Racquetball’s website and social media pages over the week of competition contained details about the Village and the Racquetball venue (Centro Dep. de las Raquetas - Estadio Nacional).

On Friday, October 20, the IRF Technical Meeting was held where the delegates and coaches of the 11 countries here representing racquetball received information about the venue, the competition, logistics, and, of course, the draws.

Then, in the afternoon, the many countries’ athletes and staff currently present in Santiago were transported to Santiago’s National Stadium to participate in the Parade of Nations, an exciting feature of Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics, Paralympics, Pan American Games, and ParaPan Games.

Congratulations to Racquetball athletes Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) and Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) who were chosen as Flag Bearers for their respective countries.

Team USA was so excited to walk in the Opening Ceremony. Then, Racquetball competition began on Saturday, October 21, and continued through Thursday, October 26. Tickets were sold by session, typically morning and afternoon. Nearly all sessions were sold out.

Draws, Representing Countries, and Format

The draws that were published by the Pan American Racquetball Confederation can be viewed at or at this R2 link:

Eleven countries were represented in Santiago: Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala EAI*, Mexico, and the United States. These countries competed and qualified for the 2023 Pan American Games via their results at the Pan American Racquetball Championships in Guatemala City this past April.

*The designation Guatemala EAI signifies that Guatemalan athletes who have competed for their country in the past cannot currently compete under their flag and national colors.

* Equipo de atletas independientes/Independent Athletes Team

A total of 48 athletes (24 men/24 women) vied for top honors. The Official Ball of the International Racquetball Federation is the Gearbox Sleek Black. The format was both Individual Competition (Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles; Mixed Doubles) and Team Competition (Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles; no Overall Team Champion designation). Rally scoring was used, best 3 games of 5, all games won by 2 points. All divisions were single elimination.

Opening Ceremony

Stewart Solomon brought USA Racquetball/Pan American Games pins to Santiago for our athletes and staff to gift to fans and to trade with other countries’ athletes and staff. It is a tradition to try and get as many different country pins as possible. He arrived just in time for the Opening Ceremony, and our athletes loved having the pins to trade!

Jen Meyer describes the Parade of Nations experience: “After a long wait with the other countries, staged in alphabetical order but with the host country last, we finally moved toward the stadium and the cheers inside the stadium were getting louder and louder as we approached. Having never been a part of the Pan American Games before, I was not sure what exactly to expect from the Opening Ceremony, but I can tell you firsthand now that there is nothing that can prepare you for the shivers that go through your body when you walk into a sold-out stadium of fans cheering for their countries and knowing you are representing your country at the highest level of competition.”

Competition at Centro Deportivo de las Raquetas (Racquet Sports Center)

Jen continues: “Each athlete was introduced as their matches began and a Santiago 2023 volunteer escorted them to their court. Physically, there was complete separation between the athletes/coaches/IRF staff and the spectators. As racquetball players and coaches, we are used to having the crowd amongst us. It was not that way at all at the Pan American Games, but it was great to see the stands filled with our USA cheerleaders!”

Live streaming was solely in the hands of Panam Sports and Santiago 2023, with the U.S. rights held by ESPN. Scheduled streaming for all sports could be found at

PARC/IRF Staff and Officials – A Hard-Working Team

PARC President Marcelo Gómez (Costa Rica), IRF President Osvaldo Maggi (Argentina)

Operations Director: Mauro Grandio Buzaleh (Argentina)

Floor Manager: Dean Schear (USA)

Desk Staff: Adrián Macrino (Argentina), Pablo Berriel (Argentina), Susana Acosta (Mexico), Sebastián Digón (Argentina)

Media: Alexis Iwaasa (Canada)

...and the referees (aka officials) numbering 17!

For a full look at the results for Team USA and all of the other countries as well, visit

A Day That Made Racquetball History: Tuesday, October 24th

Team USA only had one match, but it was an important one: Mixed Doubles finals! Erika and Adam were up against the strong Argentinian team of Diego Garcia and Maria Jose Vargas. Jen Meyer commented: “They knew they had to come out swinging and stay focused throughout the match to win. Watching Erika and Adam work together, moving fluidly and hitting shot after shot on the court was astonishing! They were playing with such determination knowing their hard work was finally paying off, and that determination never wavered during the match. Having worked with Adam and Erika since they were Juniors, it was an amazing feeling it was to see them standing on the medal stand, receiving their gold medals and hearing our national anthem. They just made history! This is the first time Mixed Doubles has been a part of the Pan American Games and the first time a brother/sister duo won gold! A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the Gold Medal winners!”

The Individual phase ended on Tuesday, October 24, with the following finals results and Award Ceremonies:

Men’s Singles – Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)
Women’s Singles – Paola Longoria (Mexico)
Men’s Doubles – Javier Mar/Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico)
Women’s Doubles – Gabriela Martinez/Maria Renee Rodriguez (EAI/Guatemala)

Mixed Doubles – Adam Manilla/Erika Manilla (USA)

Team USA Hits the Courts in the Team Competition

The Men’s and Women’s Team Competition quarterfinals began on Wednesday, October 25, beginning in the morning with semifinals for both in the afternoon. The finals were Thursday late morning and went through mid-afternoon. Awards Ceremonies followed.

Team Competitions are set up in this way:

• Each “country vs. country” matchup in team competition are best two matches out of three, single elimination.

• Two singles and one doubles match are scheduled, with the order varying as the draw progresses.

• If a country wins its first two matches vs. the other country, the third match does not take place.

• If the countries split results in the first two matches (one win/one loss), the third match is played to determine the country winner.

For a full look at the results for Team USA and all of the other countries as well, visit

Men’s Team Competition Semifinal matches

Adam Manilla lost in 3 games to Carlos Keller Vargas (Bolivia)
Alex Landa/Daniel De La Rosa won in 5 games over Kadim Carrasco/Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)
Daniel De La Rosa lost in 5 games to Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)

The USA Men’s Team captured Bronze in the Men’s Team Competition.

Women’s Team Competition Semifinal matches

Michelle Key lost in 3 games to Montserrat Mejia (Mexico)
Erika Manilla/Michelle Key lost in 4 games to Alexandra Herrera/Montserrat Mejia (Mexico)

The USA Women’s Team captured Bronze in the Women’s Team Competition.

Men’s Team Competition Results

1. Bolivia

2. Canada

3. USA, Mexico

Women’s Team Competition Finals

1. Mexico

2. Argentina

3. USA, EAI/Guatemala

USA Racquetball Executive Director Mike Grisz Weighed In

“On behalf of USA Racquetball, its staff and volunteers, I want to thank everyone for so avidly tuning in to social media and the USA Racquetball website. I know the team appreciates your support so much.

“While there were some down moments during the individual phase of competition, I’m so happy to congratulate Adam and Erika for their Mixed Doubles gold medal as well as the entire Men’s and Women’s Teams for their success today. The entire U.S. Team will be on the medals stands tomorrow afternoon, and I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of our team members.

“Thanks to Pablo, Jen, and Rodger for their hard work on behalf of USA Racquetball and the U.S. Team, and much gratitude goes to the athletes -- Adam, Alex, Daniel, Erika, and Michelle -- for their representation of their country, USA Racquetball, and all the fans and players across the USA.”

Thank You’s on Behalf of Team USA

Special thanks to Osvaldo Maggi for getting Opening Ceremony tickets for our cheerleaders and to Mauro Grandio for procuring session tickets.

Cheers to the Racquetball venue manager, Mauricio Suarez, his right hand man Alonzo, and their staff. They made the experience fantastic by allowing the athletes to play and the coaches to coach. They had water and Gatorade courtside, always replenished, and their staff cleaned up and took every opportunity to sweep the floor before, during, and after the matches. Each and every one of them made our time there pleasant and without worry.

We appreciate so much the USOPC staff’s professionalism and support prior to and during these Games. They deserve so much respect for the job they do for all of Team USA. Warm thanks go to Dana, Tony, Eric, Hannah, Anthony, Nicole, Daniel, Steve, Jenny, Brian, Kelly, Kelli, Daniel, Sam, Nancy, and Linda. These wonderful individuals (and so many more) representing Games Operations, Security, Travel, Medical, Transportation, and Lodging, took excellent care of the Team USA athletes here in Santiago.

Thanks to our “cheerleaders” -- Stewart, Nancy, Victor, Karen, Darold, Rhys, Lacey, and Hollie -- who were there in the stands, always providing encouragement, i.e., lots of cheering for the delegation!

Back in the States, Aimee Roehler did a masterful job of managing social media and the website, working countless hours to ensure that, even in the absence of consistent live streaming, Racquetball players and fans were frequently informed about the ‘goings on’ here in Santiago.

Kevin Cowley of Nike APS supported us in the quest to get uniforms timely and with approved sizes of logos and graphics. It was not an easy endeavor, and he always gets the job done for us professionally and efficiently.

Finally, we would like to thank Dax, our security agent assigned to us at the Pan American Games. He worked closely with the USOPC staff as well as the U.S. Embassy to ensure our safety. His job was to make sure we made it from point A to point B safely, watch our surroundings, and let us know how we could be more vigilant in certain situations.

Jen’s blog concluded on October 27: “It's already tomorrow here in Santiago, and our team members will be moving out of the Village in a while to make room for the next wave of athletes. We’ll grab a meal, maybe do some quick souvenir shopping, and then in the afternoon take the prearranged shuttle to the airport for our late-evening flight back to Atlanta. We’ll say a fond goodbye there as we clear Customs and continue on to our individual flights home, always remembering the amazing week we shared at the 2023 Pan American Games.”  

For a full account via the PAG Blogs, visit

2023 Pan American Games

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