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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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The USA's Andrew Soule won an historic five golds medals at Cable 2015

Andrew Soule

Nordic Skiing
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At the 2015 World Championships Soule became the most decorated US skier in history, leaving the competition with five medals. His achievements were made even sweeter by the fact they had been won on home snow.

Those three silver and two bronze gongs crowned a season in which Soule achieved his best ever overall World Cup finish.

He also became the first skier from his country to win a Paralympic medal in biathlon at Vancouver 2010.

His sporting achievements are not the only time Soule had shown his commitment to his country.

After the September 11 attacks, Soule joined the US Army. Shortly after he completed basic training, he was deployed to Afghanistan. In 2005 an improvised explosive device detonated next to Soule’s vehicle and both his legs were blown off.

Not wanting to put his marksmanship skills to waste, Soule initially attended a Para cross-country skiing recruitment camp that same year and also caught on to biathlon.

He also tried Para alpine skiing, finishing 12th in the World Cup in 2008-2009, but settled on Para Nordic skiing.

After taking two years out to study following his exploits at Vancouver 2010, Soule had some catching up to do.

In Sochi, that meant Soule just missed out on medals with two fourth place finishes in biathlon.

But he showed his mettle in 2014-15, finally coming to the fore across both cross-country and biathlon once again. In 2015-16 Soule retained his place in the World Cup top five in both biathlon and cross-country skiing.

The 2017 season saw him finish on the World Championships podium once again, adding a further two medals in cross-country. But the growing competitiveness of the men's sitting field saw him miss out on a medal in the long distance cross-country and also the biathlon.

A top five finish in the cross-country World Cup also came for Soule thanks to a podium sweep at the Test Event for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

There can be no doubt that he will come back in 2018 even more determined to put in his best ever Paralympic performance.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW12

Further personal information

Family
Wife Lauren
Occupation
Veteran
Languages
English
Higher education
History - Texas A&M University: College Station, TX, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport in 2006 in Sun Valley, ID, United States of America.
Why this sport?
While taking part in a handcycling ride in San Antonio, TX, United States of America, he met the director of Wood River Ability Program. The official believed that Soule had the potential to be a cross-county skier. His time in the US Army meant he already possessed good rifle skills, which made him suitable for biathlon. "I like the challenge and the chance to travel and be out in the world."

International debut

Year
2007
Competing for
United States
Location
Canada

General interest

Nicknames
Andy (Twitter profile, 21 Dec 2017)
Hobbies
Gardening, cooking. (teamusa.org, 07 Mar 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the sprint event at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and claiming bronze in the biathlon 2.4km pursuit at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
Director of US Para Nordic skiing John Farra. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Awards and honours
He was named Male Para Nordic Skier of the Year by FasterSkier.com in 2015 and 2016. (fasterskier.com, 15 Apr 2016)

He was named Athlete of the Month for January 2015 by the International Paralympic Committee [IPC]. (fasterskier.com, 10 Feb 2015)
Other sports
He competed in biathlon and cross-country skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010, 2014 and 2018. (SportsDeskOnline, 16 Mar 2014)
Impairment
In May 2005 he was injured by an improvised explosive device [IED] while serving in the US Army in the Shinkay district of Afghanistan. The explosion killed one soldier and resulted in Soule having a double amputation above his knees. (army.mil, 13 Mar 2010)
Other information
RETIREMENT
In June 2018 he announced his retirement from competitive Para Nordic skiing. (insidethegames.biz, 27 Jun 2018)

NATIONAL FIRST
He won bronze in the 2.4km sitting pursuit at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, to become the first US biathlete to win a Paralympic medal. (SportsDeskOnline, 04 Mar 2013; army.mil, 15 Mar 2010)

BREAK FROM SPORT
He spent two years away from sport following the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, in order to study ballistics in Oklahoma City, OK, United States of America. He returned to competition in late 2012. (teamusa.org, 13 Dec 2012)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games (Vancouver, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 12.5 km Individual Sitting Final Round 4
Men's 2.4 km Pursuit Sitting Qualification 3
Men's 2.4 km Pursuit Sitting Final Round 3
Men's 15 km Sitting Final Round 10
Men's 1 km Sprint Sitting Qualification 11
Men's 10 km Sitting Final Round 12
IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Solleftea (Solleftea, Sweden)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Sprint - Classic Sitting Final 2013-02-25 19
Men's Long Distance - Classic Sitting Final 2013-02-26 16
Men's Short Distance Sitting Final 2013-02-28 9
Men's Middle Distance Sitting Final 2013-03-01 8
Men's Long Distance Sitting Final 2013-03-03 15
Men's Middle Distance - Classic Sitting Final 2013-03-05 15
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 7.5 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-08 4
Men's 15 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-09 5
Men's 12.5 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-11 5
Men's 1 km Sprint Sitting Final Round 2014-03-12 5
Men's 15 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-14 4
Men's 10 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-16 9
2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Cable (Cable, United States of America)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Short Distance Sitting Race 1 2015-01-24 2
Men's Long Distance - Free Style Sitting Race 1 2015-01-25 3
Men's Middle Distance Sitting Race 1 2015-01-27 9
Men's Sprint - Classic Sitting Race 1 2015-01-28 3
Men's Long Distance Sitting Race 1 2015-01-30 2
Men's Middle Distance - Classic Sitting Race 1 2015-01-31 2
Mixed Relay Final 2015-02-01 7
2017 IPC Nordic skiing World Championships Finsterau, GER (Finsterau, Germany)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Middle Distance Sitting Final 2017-02-11 6
Men's Sprint - Free Style Sitting Final 2017-02-12 2
Men's Long Distance Sitting Final 2017-02-14 7
Men's Long Distance - Classic Sitting Final 2017-02-16 4
Men's Sprint Sitting Final 2017-02-18 4
Men's Middle Distance - Free Style Sitting Final 2017-02-19 3
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 7.5km Sitting Final 2018-03-10 8
Men's 15km Sitting Final 2018-03-11 11
Men's 12.5km Sitting Final 2018-03-13 3
Men's 1.1km Sprint Sitting Final 2018-03-14 1
Men's 15km Sitting Final 2018-03-16 9
Men's 7.5km Sitting Final 2018-03-17 5
4x2.5km Open Relay Final 2018-03-18 12