American athletes of Lao descent represented their homeland at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games 2023 held in Cambodia, with some even winning medals for Laos.
Ariana Dirkzwager, Asrid Dirkzwagwer, Angelina Samayavong Messina, Steven Insixiengmay, Dawson Sihavong, and Jedidiah Phomsavath Slayman represented Laos in the sports of Swimming, Ju-Jitsu, and Wrestling.
Jedidiah, was born in Laos and later moved to the US. He represented Laos in the SEA Games 2023 in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. After a tough face-off with his competitor in the finals, Jedidah brought home the silver medal.
Dawson Sihavong was one of the top Lao athletes at the SEA Games in Cambodia this year, winning medals in two different events. The first event saw Dawson compete in the Men’s Greco Roman 67 Kg weight category where he was able to take home the bronze medal.
The following day saw Dawson compete in the 70 kg weight category, Men’s Freestyle Wrestling. Dawson went up against his Indonesian counterpart but unfortunately lost the match at 12-1. Having said that, Dawson did manage to bring home the silver medal for Laos, his second medal of the tournament.
Ariana Dirkzwager, Asrid Dirkzwagwer, Angelina Samayavong Messina, and Steven Insixiengmay competed in different swimming events, where they performed to the best of their abilities.
Ariana Dirkzwager also made history and became the first Lao swimmer to qualify for a SEA Games final. She represented Laos in the 200 freestyle during the final.
The medal tally for Laos currently stands at 6 gold medals, 22 silver medals, and 60 bronze medals. With the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia coming to a close today, Lao and ASEAN athletes look forward to participating in the next installment which will be hosted by Thailand in 2025.