SANTIAGO, Chile – With the 2023 Pan American Games (PAG) fast approaching, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach David Passmore knows there’s a lot at stake. As his team warmed up to scrimmage members of the U.S. Men’s National Team in the final stages of preparation, Passmore shared with USA Field Hockey his sentiments leading up to the event.
“I think we’re all really excited to get going, we’ve had a year together now and four months together with the 24 athletes that have been preparing, and we know what the potential goal is – it’s around Paris qualification. So that adds an amount of pressure but also a lot of excitement.”
After their five-match series against Canada, which included two test matches, Passmore and his staff were challenged with naming the final roster. After the squad was announced, Passmore noted that he didn’t feel the culture of the team shifted, but rather showed itself in a positive and selfless way.
“I don’t think the culture has shifted at all since we’ve picked the squad. We worked really hard building our culture and we spoke in advance about how there would be 16 athletes selected, but the other eight are really important. I can’t pay enough credit to the athletes not selected because as hard as that is, they’ve really contributed to the final preparations, whether it’s playing corners for or against, or doing things that they might not normally do to help their teammates, and that’s really culture standing out and standing up when it really needed to.”
When asked about what an Olympic qualification would mean to him and the team, Passmore reflected on his previous experience at the Olympic Games and looked ahead to the future.
“It’s all about the team. It’s not about me personally, but I suppose from my perspective I’d just love to see these athletes get rewarded. They’ve had a tough number of years with COVID, and changes in coaches and staff. We now have a home and we have a home Olympic Games in 2028.”
“I’ve been to an Olympics, so I know what it feels like and the sense of achievement… its life fulfilling in the sense that it stays with you for life. If we qualify, it will really allow us to understand and know what an Olympic Games is like in preparation for Los Angeles in 2028, and the athletes can know what they’re working toward and what they can aspire toward – not only to be at the Games but to compete for a medal.”
“I’d just like to thank all the support we’ve had, not just from USA Field Hockey in our preparation, but the USPC, this fantastic facility we have, David and Ike’s vision of bringing sports to North Carolina, then finally just to the parents and partners, we want to say thank you for that support.”
Watch the full interview with Passmore here: