“2016 is an interesting year for us with no World Championships, but it is a very important year of development as we look forward to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.”
US Paralympics has announced that 21 athletes have been named to the 2015-16 US para alpine skiing and snowboarding national teams.
“We are excited to have so many of our world championship and Sochi medalists return to the national team,” said Kevin Jardine, high performance director, US Paralympics alpine skiing and snowboarding. “2016 is an interesting year for us with no World Championships, but it is a very important year of development as we look forward to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.”
The alpine team boasts a core group of athletes who have medalled at both the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.
On the women’s side, Danelle Umstead and guide Rob Umstead won three World Championship medals and one Paralympic medal. Laurie Stephens won one World Championship medal and two Paralympic medals, and Stephanie Jallen followed up on her two medals from Sochi 2014 with one medal at the World Championships.
On the men’s side, Mark Bathum and guide Cade Yamamoto return with the most decorated record with two silver medals from Sochi and one silver from the World Championships. Andrew Kurka also rebounded from early-season injuries to win his first World Championship medal with a bronze in the Super-G.
The trio of snowboarders Evan Strong, Mike Shea and Keith Gabel – who made history with their podium-sweep in Sochi – return to the national team. Shea returns as the reigning world champion in the LL-2 banked slalom, while Strong owns the silver World Championship medals in the LL-2 banked slalom and snowboard-cross.
Brenna Huckaby leapt to the top of the world stage in 2015, as she won the women’s LL-1 snowboard-cross world title and finished second in the banked slalom. Teammates Heidi Jo Duce and Nicole Roundy also came away from the World Championships with two medals apiece.
Four-time Paralympic medalist Chris Devlin-Young is the only military veteran on the roster as he is a retired Petty Officer Third Class, US Coast Guard.
The teams will begin their seasons in the coming months, with the first snowboard World Cup being held in Landgraaf, the Netherlands from 19-20 November. The first alpine World Cup kicks off in Abtenau, Austria on 15 January.
2015-2016 US Paralympics Snowboarding National Team
Heidi Jo Duce
2015-2016 US Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team
Mark Bathum and guide Cade Yamamoto
Chris Devlin Young
Danelle Umstead and guide Rob Umstead