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Olivia & Sam Heinemann: Siblings eager to compete together in London

Olivia & Sam Heinemann

Written By Jeremy Goldman

For Olivia Heinemann, the 15th Pan American Maccabi Games held this past winter in Argentina was unforgettable.

This summer’s European Maccabi Youth Games in London should be even more memorable because she will be sharing it with her younger brother, Sam.

“Argentina was the best experience of my life – a dream in itself. So many friends, so many memories, friends from Israel and Argentina – all around the world,” Heinemann said. “I even want to go compete in Israel someday too, but Sammy has to come to London and experience this.

When Olivia returned to America after the PanAm Games, the first thought that came to her mind was sharing these dreams with Sam.

Olivia Heinemann, 17, is traveling to London to play on the Maccabi USA U18 soccer team. Sam, 15, is playing for the futsal (indoor soccer) team. Olivia is a right winger, and Sam is a defender.

“Me and my brother always dreamed of playing professionally in the big leagues,” she said.

For the siblings from the D.M.V. area (D.C, Maryland, Virginia), the Maccabi experience is as big as it’s gotten. Olivia has also competed at the Jefferson Cup, a popular and prestigious annual soccer tournament in Richmond, Virginia.

Olivia and Sam have been playing soccer since the age of 4, but for Sam, playing indoor soccer will be a first. While in Buenos Aires, Olivia watched an Argentina vs USA U18 futsal match and told Sam about the sport’s “intense pace.”

“Even though I’m eagerly excited, I’m also very nervous to adjust to the indoor pace,” he said.

Since there are a few subtle differences playing on the indoor pitch, Sam will have some adjustments to make when in London. The removal of studs in cleats is a crucial factor as well as the reduction of players on the field. Futsal is six on six, whereas soccer is 11 on 11.

The European Maccabi Youth Games held in London, England, will take place from July 28 to Aug. 6. Maccabi USA will field teams of U16 and U18 athletes competing in 5v5 basketball, 3v3 basketball, soccer, futsal, field hockey, and tennis.

Jeremy Goldman is a native of Orlando, FL, and is currently a senior at the Pennsylvania State University. He is studying broadcast journalism, with a minor in sports studies, you can follow his work at and

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