Athlete Spotlight: Mohan Gandhi on Returning to the Pan American Games

SANTIAGO, Chile – The 2023 Pan American Games (PAG) are just days away, with the U.S. Men’s National Team playing their first match on Wednesday, October 25. USA Field Hockey caught up with someone who is very familiar with the PAG – U.S. Men’s National Team athlete Mohan Gandhi, who will be competing at this event for the third time.

Now a senior member of the squad, Gandhi joined the USMNT back in 2011, then attended his first Pan American Games in Canada in 2015. Now, Gandhi is looking forward to leading the team in a veteran role at the upcoming 2023 PAG.

“I can't wait to get started! There's a great vibe in our camp going into the Pan American Games and I want us to capitalize on that! It's my third Pan Am Games now, and it still feels epic. I would tell the guys to enjoy the environment you're in, but when you get on that bus to the hockey field snap into hockey performance mode. Feel free to snap out again when the game is over and you're on your way back to the village.”

Gandhi recounted some of his favorite memories from the 2019 PAG in Lima, where the team had an impressive third place finish.

“I thoroughly enjoyed winning bronze at the Pan American Games. That meant beating Chile in the 3rd/4th place game. Then singing Country Roads in the locker room with the team. That's a priceless memory, especially because for some of the guys, like Tom Barratt, that was their last game for the USMNT.”

Despite having extensive international experience, Gandhi has never been on a team that has qualified for the Olympic Games. He shared with USA Field Hockey what an Olympic qualification would mean to him.

“It means everything! It's something I've been chasing for 15 years. Some of the others have been chasing it longer than I have too! But it would be the most epic, glorious journey of a brotherhood of best mates who went from 24th in the world to Olympians over decades of hard work and sacrifice. That's a great story to tell the grandkids!”

To fans and supporters, Gandhi offered words of gratitude and optimism.

“Thank you for your support, thank you for your patience! We're going to make you proud! I've got a good feeling about this tournament!”