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a male Para sit skier crosses the finish line

Daniel Cnossen

Nordic Skiing
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Daniel Cnossen is enjoying the best moment of his career, having recently taken his maiden Winter Paralympic title in the men’s biathlon long distance sitting at PyeongChang 2018. As a result, he became the first male US Nordic skier to seal Winter Paralympic gold.

He later added two biathlon silvers and two cross-country silvers and one bronze to his tally.

Cnossen extended his winning form into the new season, claiming four golds and two bronze at the first World Cup in Vuokatti, Finland, before sweeping all his cross-country and biathlon events at the Ostersund World Cup.

Prince George 2019 seems to be the perfect opportunity to add a world title to his Paralympic gold.

In September 2009 he was serving as a US Navy Seal in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when he was injured by an improvised explosive device and lost both his legs.

In 2016 he gained a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University. Cnossen then went on to take a master's degree in theological studies.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW12

Further personal information

Residence
United States
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English, Spanish
Higher education
English - United States Naval Academy: United States

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport in 2011 in the United States of America.
Why this sport?
He began Para Nordic skiing after being invited to a US Olympic Committee [USOC] Paralympic Military Sports Camp in San Diego, CA, United States of America. Some of the coaches there noticed his natural talent and he was invited to a biathlon training camp in Montana six weeks later. "I was introduced to the sport of cross-country skiing and immediately fell in love with the peacefulness and its connection with nature. Then you add on the shooting and that had the connection with my military career so this seemed like both sports would be the perfect fit for me."
Name of coach
Martin Benes [national], USA
Training Regime
He does his cross-country and biathlon-specific training in Craftsbury, VT, United States of America.

International debut

Year
2011
Competing for
United States

General interest

Nicknames
Danny Boy, Danger Dan, Cnoss, C-Nasty, Disco Dan, Batta Bing (brutallyhonest.org, 26 Sep 2009)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning six medals [one gold, four silvers and one bronze] at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
His coaches. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
US cross-country skier Bill Koch. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"My expectations are simply to train as well as I can and give my best results in each race. What matters is how hard I can go and how hard I can push myself and how deep I can dig." (paralympic.org, 30 Jan 2019)
Awards and honours
He was named Team USA's Male Paralympic Athlete of the Games after winning six medals at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (teamusa.org, 26 Apr 2018)
Other sports
He represented the United States of America in Para cycling at the road world championships in 2014 and 2015, winning silver in the team relay open at the 2014 edition in Greenville, SC, United States of America. He competed in both cross-country skiing and biathlon at the Paralympic Winter Games in 2014 and 2018, winning six medals at the 2018 edition in Pyeongchang. He also won gold in Para swimming at the 2011 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, CO, United States of America. (teamusa.org, 2015; paralympic.org, 29 Aug 2014; SportsDeskOnline, 27 Nov 2020)
Milestones
He became the first male athlete representing the United States of America to win a gold medal in biathlon at the Paralympic Winter Games by claiming victory in the 7.5km sitting event at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 05 Dec 2018; pyeongchang2018.com, 10 Mar 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Jan 2020)
Impairment
In September 2009 he was serving as a US Navy SEAL in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when he was injured by an improvised explosive device [IED] and lost both his legs. He underwent rehabilitation at the National Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, United States of America. (usnavyseals.com, 12 Oct 2009; brutallyhonest.org, 26 Sep 2009)
Other information
FURTHER EDUCATION
In 2016 he gained a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, United States of America. In 2018 he completed a master's degree in theological studies from the same university. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018; humansofhds.tumblr.com, 10 Nov 2016; harvard.edu, 25 May 2016; LinkedIn profile, 01 Jan 2020)

Results

Unit Date Rank
IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Solleftea (Solleftea, Sweden)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Sprint - Classic Sitting Final 2013-02-25 22
Men's Long Distance - Classic Sitting Final 2013-02-26 6
Men's Short Distance Sitting Final 2013-02-28 12
Men's Middle Distance Sitting Final 2013-03-01 13
Men's Long Distance Sitting Final 2013-03-03 12
Men's Middle Distance - Classic Sitting Final 2013-03-05 12
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 7.5 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-08 14
Men's 15 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-09 13
Men's 12.5 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-11 11
Men's 1 km Sprint Sitting Final Round 2014-03-12 6
Men's 15 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-14 10
Men's 10 km Sitting Final Round 2014-03-16 10
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 7
Men's Long Distance - Free Style Sitting Race 1 2015-01-25 8
Men's Middle Distance Sitting Race 1 2015-01-27 8
Men's Sprint - Classic Sitting Race 1 2015-01-28 5
Men's Long Distance Sitting Race 1 2015-01-30 5
Men's Middle Distance - Classic Sitting Race 1 2015-01-31 6
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 7.5km Sitting Final 2018-03-10 1
Men's 15km Sitting Final 2018-03-11 2
Men's 12.5km Sitting Final 2018-03-13 2
Men's 1.1km Sprint Sitting Final 2018-03-14 3
Men's 15km Sitting Final 2018-03-16 2
Men's 7.5km Sitting Final 2018-03-17 2
Prince George 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships (Prince George, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Middle Distance Sitting Final 2019-02-16 6
Men's Middle Distance - Free Style Sitting Final 2019-02-17 2
Men's Sprint - Free Style Sitting Final 2019-02-18 2
Men's Sprint Sitting Final 2019-02-20 9
Men's Long Distance Sitting Final 2019-02-21 4
Men's Long Distance - Classic Sitting Final 2019-02-24 4