Wagner was the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. field hockey team at the 1996 Olympic Games. Although the U.S. finished 12th out of 12 teams in the competition, Wagner -- one of the top goalies in the world -- kept the Americans close in many of the games. The U.S. has never won a field hockey game in Olympic play (0-26-4), although they won the bronze medal in 1932. That year, there were only three teams in the competition, so the Americans were awarded the bronze, despite losing to India 23-1!
Wagner grew up in New Jersey and played hockey as a youngster, but because his high school had no hockey team, he played football for two years. After a teacher encouraged him to try field hockey, Steve was hooked. By 1986, the year he graduated from high school, Wagner was a member of the U.S. National team.
In 1989, Wagner was named Athlete of the Year by the Field Hockey Association of America, and was also considered one of the top five goalies in the world. He played on the 1991 Pan American Games squad, then helped lead the American team to the bronze medal at the 1995 Pan American Games, defeating Cuba 3-2 in the bronze medal game.
In 2002, Wagner helped lead the U.S. to a second-place finish at the Indoor Pan American Cup.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Nov. 5, 1967
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Review, November/December 1997 issue (Volume 1, Issue 4)