“I am confident that this group of talented athletes is going to represent our country well both on and off the ice and snow. With the expanded platform of television coverage provided in partnership with NBC, these athletes are not only going to captivate the country, but also inspire the next generation of athletes following in their footsteps.”
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced the 2014 US Paralympic team that will compete at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games from 7-16 March in Russia.
The 80-member team, which includes six guides for visually impaired athletes, is comprised of 22 women and 58 men, and is the biggest delegation of any team competing in Sochi.
“It is a very exciting time for the Paralympic Movement, and we are honoured to announce the largest team we have ever sent to a Paralympic Winter Games,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “I am confident that this group of talented athletes is going to represent our country well both on and off the ice and snow. With the expanded platform of television coverage provided in partnership with NBC, these athletes are not only going to captivate the country, but also inspire the next generation of athletes following in their footsteps.”
Team USA’s 80 athletes will compete throughout the nine days of Paralympic competition in all five sports: alpine skiing (which includes snowboarding), biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
While 50 athletes represented Team USA at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, the roster has grown by 30 athletes in 2014. Notable increases came from the addition of 10 athletes competing in the debut of snowboard cross at the Paralympic Winter Games and from the Nordic skiing (biathlon and cross-country skiing) team tripling in size over the past four years.
The 2014 US Paralympic team features 32 returning Paralympians who have won a combined haul of 50 Paralympic medals. The roster includes seven-time Paralympian Allison Jones, five-time Paralympian Chris Devlin-Young, four four-time Paralympians, eight three-time Paralympians and 18 two-time Paralympians.
Eighteen athletes who have represented the US as military veterans and active duty service members will represent Team USA in Sochi. The Nordic skiing team boasts the highest percentage of veterans, with eight of the 16 athletes having military experience.
The 2014 US Paralympic Team roster may still be adjusted due to injury, illness or exceptional circumstances up to the technical meetings for each sport.
US team facts
• Defending gold medallists from Vancouver include alpine skiers Alana Nichols and Stephani Victor, as well as eight returning members of the gold-medal winning 2010 ice sledge hockey team: Steve Cash, Taylor Chace, Nikko Landeros, Josh Pauls, Greg Shaw and Andy Yohe.
• Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) is the most decorated athlete on the team with 10 Paralympic medals; however, none of them are from the Paralympic Winter Games. McFadden is making her winter sport debut in Nordic skiing after first gaining international fame in track and field.
• Allison Jones has been on every US Paralympic Team roster, summer or winter, since 2002 as a seven-time Paralympian and seven-time medalist in alpine skiing and cycling.
• Six athletes from the London 2012 Paralympic Games have been named to the roster: Monica Bascio (Evergreen, Colorado, cycling/Nordic skiing) Jones (cycling/alpine skiing), Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky, rowing/Nordic skiing), McFadden (track & field/ Nordic skiing), Nichols (wheelchair basketball/alpine skiing), Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota,track & field/Nordic skiing)
• Ice sledge hockey’s Brody Robyal (Northlake, Illinois) is the youngest athletes on the team at 15 years old. Alpine skier Mark Bathum (Mercer Island, Washington) is the most senior member of the team at 55 years old.
•Eighteen athletes balance training and competition schedules with raising a family; three athletes are mothers and 15 are fathers.
The full U.S team is as follows:
Lindsay Ball (Guide: Diane Barras)
Staci Mannella (Guide: Kim Seevers)
Danelle Umstead (Guide: Rob Umstead)
Mark Bathum (Guide: Cade Yamamoto)
Heidi Jo Duce
Jake Adicoff (Guide: Reid Pletcher)
Kevin Burton (Guide: David Chamberlain)
Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen
Ice sledge hockey