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Rachel- the Gold-Medallist Next Door
September 2008 | By Becky Dembitsky

 

It is hard to imagine that our “girl next door”, Rachel Buehler, has been in Beijing as a member of the Gold-medal winning US Women’s soccer team. She recently said, “It’s such an honor to play on the team and represent my country. It’s the coolest dream I could ever think of. I’ve been working for this for a long time”. Our whole Luneta neighborhood can attest to that!

Strawberry-blond haired and freckled, Rachel grew up next door to us, initially playing with the eight boys and two girls, including our three sons, from the surrounding houses. As soon as she could walk, she became one of the gang, and affectionately referred to as “Rache”. 

6-year old Rachel hangs out with the big guys

The Buehlers’ huge driveway provided the arena for riding “Big Wheels”, roller blading, and skate boarding. Across the street we had a grassy lawn for soccer and baseball. Rachel held her ground with all the boys and seemed to enjoy sports from the beginning. I never remember her complaining about rough play, she seemed to thrive in all the action. As her Aunt Mar Del always said,  “she’s as tough as nails”! One day to all our amazement, at our annual Easter Egg Hunt, Rachel was the first to climb the long rope hanging from the Monterrey Cypress, in our front yard, at age 5!

We watched in awe as we observed a soft-spoken Rachel, continue to perform brilliantly in everything she tackled. Rachel radiated her sweet personality in the starring role of "Annie", in the Del Mar Heights' sixth-grade play. She excelled scholastically while attending Torrey Pines High School. I would often see her light on late into the night  and in the early morning hours. She has always been passionate about soccer. She played for the Surf Team all through undergraduate school, Torrey Pines H. S., Stanford and the USA National Under-19 Women’s Soccer Team. She worked hard to recover from ACL injuries in both knees. Her perseverance and drive for excellence has now delivered her as a Defender on the U.S. Olympic Team!

The unending nurturing support of her parents, Don and Mary Ellen, her sister, Anna and all the Buehler clan has been exemplary! Of course, her family and boy friend, Bobby, were in Beijing to watch the team revenge itself on Brazil, 1-0. We loyal and enthusiastic Luneta fans were there in spirit, wishing her and the team the best!

 

   
 

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