(by Steve Hopkins)
Elite athletes often thrive on that perfect moment where they climb to the top of the podium and accept their gold medal in a ceremony where the whole room pauses to recognize their accomplishment. It is very unfortunate that Ian Seidenfeld was not honored with the top podium spot last August, but this should not diminish his accomplishment. The International Paralympic Committee announced today that Seidenfeld has won the 2019 Parapan Gold Medal in Men’s Singles Class 6.
Last summer, Seidenfeld fell just short in the final, losing to Matias Pino of Chile. However, after scoring a Gold in singles and a Bronze in the teams, Pino tested positive for a prohibited substance. The substance, octopamine, is a stimulant which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the test results have now resulted in Pino’s disqualification and he has been stripped of his medals.
TeamUSA had already performed well at the Parapan American Games. Seidenfeld now joins Tahl Leibovitz as Gold Medal winners in Singles. These Gold Medals also mean an automatic invitation to the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Congratulations Ian Seidenfeld.