USA Curling nominates athletes for Sochi 201413.12.2013
Patrick McDonald to lead Team USA's hopes of first ever wheelchair curling medal.
"I have no doubt that when Patrick, David, Jimmy, Penny and Meghan compete in the red, white and blue on the world's biggest stage this March, in Sochi, Russia, they will make all of us proud."
Led by 2010 Paralympian Patrick McDonald, Team USA's wheelchair curling athletes have been nominated to the 2014 US Paralympic Team to compete in Sochi, Russia, from 7-16 March. The nominations are subject to approval of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
McDonald and his team of David Palmer, Jimmy Joseph, Penny Greely, and Meghan Lino are seeking USA's first-ever Paralympic medal in wheelchair curling. The team is coached by Steve Brown and Rusty Schieber and is assisted by Marc Deperno), team leader.
"The USA Curling wheelchair team program has come a long way since the inception of the international championships in 2002, guided by the expertise of National Coach Steve Brown," said Rick Patzke, USA Curling chief operating officer.
"The athletes have put their hearts and souls into training and competition, and had a medal within their grasp at the 2010 Paralympics. Having come so close before has surely increased their hunger for success in Sochi, and we and all of America will be firmly behind them as they chase their dreams in 2014."
Team USA finished fourth at last year's world wheelchair event in Sochi, Russia, and is currently ranked sixth in the world. Wheelchair curling was added as a Paralympic medal sport in 2006.
This will be the third straight Games appearance for Joseph, 51, and second for McDonald, 46. Greely, 42, was a member of the bronze-medal winning sitting volleyball team at the 2004 Paralympic Summer Games in Athens, Greece. This will be the first Games for both Palmer, 53, and Lino, 29.
"Congratulations to these five outstanding athletes for their nomination to the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team," said U.S. Chef de Mission Julie O'Neill, team leader for Paralympic sport performance at the USOC.
"I have no doubt that when Patrick, David, Jimmy, Penny and Meghan compete in the red, white and blue on the world's biggest stage this March, in Sochi, Russia, they will make all of us proud. I look forward to supporting them as they compete for our country's first Paralympic medal in wheelchair curling."
Canada has won gold at the past two Paralympic Winter Games. The US begins round robin play on 8 March with Canada, China, Finland, Great Britain, Korea, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, and Sweden. The top four teams after the conclusion of the round robin will move on to the semi-finals.
NBC and NBC Sports Network will combine to air 50 hours of television coverage for March's Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, starting on March with the Opening Ceremony. It will be followed by daily coverage of all five Paralympic sports in the Sochi program, before the Closing Ceremony is broadcast on 16 March. In addition to the unprecedented U.S. television coverage, the USOC and six sponsors will provide live online coverage at TeamUSA.org.
U.S. Paralympic Team nominees for alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, sled hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling will be finalised by the USOC no later than February 21, 2014, the deadline to submit Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games delegation rosters to the International Paralympic Committee.
Selection procedures and dates can be found at TeamUSA.org.