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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
This summer, Wellesley native and 14-year-old Ariel Oppenheim participated in 2019 Pan American Maccabi Games that were held in Mexico City, as well as the JCC Maccabi Games in Detroit, Michigan, where she represented Boston.
Oppenheim was one of about 3700 athletes competing from all around the world, representing 21 different countries and four continents (Asia, Europe, North America, and South America) across 24 different sports.
Despite being the youngest of all 20 junior participants selected from the United States (10 male, 10 female), Oppenheim took home a whopping 11 medals between the two events, including a gold medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay.
“It was a special experience and I am so fortunate to be part of it. Thanks to the generosity of many people who supported me throughout this journey,” said Oppenheim.
“It was such an honor to represent my country at such an important event. I was so fortunate to be able to meet Jewish athletes from all over the world, who share similar interests as me, as well as being able to work with two amazing coaches. Standing on the podium wrapped in the US flag was a dream come true for me.”
Oppenheim has been swimming since she was seven and currently swims for CRA (Charles River Aquatic) and WSA (Wellesley Swimming Association). A rising freshman at Wellesley High, Oppenheim hopes to swim for the Raiders varsity swim team this fall.