Former Hawkeye Returns From The Pan American Games

Aug. 14, 2007

Iowa City –

Former University of Iowa field hockey player Sarah Dawson is currently a member of the United States National Team. They competed in the Pan American games during the middle of July, narrowly missing a birth to the 2008 Olympics by finishing second.

The following is a question/answer session with Dawson which provides insight on her experience with the National Team.

When is the next chance to qualify for the Olympics?
We are waiting for all of the other teams to have their qualifying tournaments. After they are finished, we will find out if we will be playing in Canada, Azerbaijan, or Russia. The games will take place in March and April of next year.

What was your most memorable moment during the Pan Am games?
My most memorable moment on the field was getting my 50th cap, which means I have played in 50 international games. Off the field, the most memorable moment was the Opening Ceremonies. We walked through a stadium filled with 100,000 screaming people. It was unbelievable and a little intimidating.

What would it mean to you to qualify for the Olympics?
If we qualified for the Olympics, I would be over the moon. Our team has trained so hard and prepared for so long. We just don’t want to qualify, we want to medal. We deserve to go and I know we will.

How has the national team altered your life?
I used to think by the time I was 24, I would be married and that I would be full swing into my career and have a mortgage. None of this I have. Instead, I am traveling the world and experiencing things most people will never get to experience. I am very happy that I chose to play.

What did you do during your spare time while you were in Brazil?
I have this game called Zoo Tycoon and I played it non stop. I was set on making the best zoo ever. When I was bored, I would read or hang out with my teammates or members of the men’s team.

What was your favorite food there?
I really didn’t have one, but my teammates loved the cheese balls. They were little rolls that were filled with soft dough and cheese. Whenever they would come out, our team would come back with about six or seven of them each on our plates.

Describe Brazil’s fans compared to the US fans.
They are crazy. They remind me of Philly fans. They boo a lot and can be pretty mean. They are very loyal to their country. They would come dressed in Brazilian flags. Even though the fans were crazy, the people there were very nice.

What is your relationship with your teammates like?
This team is pretty relaxed. I think we are more mature than any team in college. We enjoy having each other around, but we need our alone time and we are good at finding a balance. Something I love about this team is how we handle adversity. Nothing really fazes this team. For example, we were taking a bus to the airport on our way home from Holland. The bus that shows up fits about 20 people. There are 25 of us and our luggage. No one gets stressed out. We all just laugh. I think the easiness of this team is what makes it special.

What is your training schedule like?
Recently, we have been scrimmaging a few college teams. After that we will be practicing until our test series against Japan in October. We are also trying to promote a new campaign we have called Sun Safe Play. It is in memory of Maria Whitehead, who had melanoma and died last year. She was a member of the US National Team for a period of time. We are just working on trying to get the message out to people, especially young women athletes, about the dangers of the sun and the protection you should use to combat it.

Click HERE to learn more about Sun Safe Play.