About U.S. Paralympics
Alpine skier Jon Lujan, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, served as the United States flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games on March 7, 2014. Recognized by the International Paralympic Committee as the National Paralympic Committee, a primary function of U.S. Paralympics is producing Team USA for the Paralympic Games.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S. Paralympics, a division of the nonprofit United States Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic Movement and promoting excellence in the lives of people with Paralympic-eligible impairments, including physical disabilities and visual impairments. The mission statement of the USOC:
To support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes in achieving sustained competitive excellence while demonstrating the values of the Olympic Movement, thereby inspiring all Americans.
To learn more about the USOC, click here.
Since its formation in 2001, U.S. Paralympics has been inspiring Americans to achieve their dreams. Through relationships with hundreds of organizations across the country including National Governing Bodies/High Performance Management Organizations and Paralympic Sport Clubs, U.S. Paralympics is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people with Paralympic-eligible impairments every day with educational opportunities and sports programming.
While grassroots programming is an area of emphasis for U.S. Paralympics, the organization is also the National Paralympic Committee in the United States, as recognized by the International Paralympic Committee, and is responsible for elite sports programming including sending a U.S. Paralympic Team to the Paralympic Games, summer and winter. U.S. Paralympics operates as the NGB/HPMO for six sports: alpine skiing, cycling, Nordic skiing (biathlon and cross-country skiing), snowboarding, swimming and track and field.
Addressing an urgent need
Today, there are more than 21 million Americans with a physical disability, many who are eligible to compete in Paralympic sport. Over the past decade, thousands of military personnel have sustained serious injuries during active duty tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Research shows that daily physical activity enhances not only and individual's self-esteem and peer relationships but also results in increased achievement and better health, enabling a higher quality of life. However, despite these findings, most individuals with Paralympic-eligible impairments do not have the opportunity to participate in any regular sports activity.
U.S. Paralympics is working hard to address this national issue with programming from grassroots through the Games. To find local opportunities to participate in sport or to volunteer, visit FindAClub.USParalympics.org.
Grassroots to the Games
It’s not every four years. It’s every day. With extensive programming at the local, regional and national levels, U.S. Paralympics helps connect youth, adults, service members and veterans who have Paralympic-eligible impairments to organizations that offer adaptive sport opportunities from grassroots to the Paralympic Games. Year round, we sponsor ongoing programs along with camps, clinics and competitions to prepare athletes for their moment on the world stage. What’s your path to the podium? From Alaska to Florida, no matter where you are, there's an opportunity for you to explore your potential.
Paralympic Sport Clubs
Snowboarder Amy Purdy, a 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist, is not just an elite athlete. She also co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, a Paralympic Sport Club that provides grassroots and elite programming in sports like snowboarding.
U.S. Paralympics supports Paralympic Sport Clubs, a network of community-based organizations that provide programming to athletes at the local level from California to the Carolinas and everywhere in between. Paralympic Sport Clubs regularly team up with U.S. Paralympics and our national partners and sponsors to provide Paralympic sport programming everywhere from able-bodied competitions to school playgrounds. By supporting Paralympic Sport Clubs with resources including coaching education and program development courses, U.S. Paralympics and its National Governing Bodies/High Performance Management Organizations have helped increase the availability of sport programming for Americans with Paralympic-eligible impairments. Learn more about Paralympic Sport Clubs by clicking here.
Gateway to Gold
Is your dream to wear red, white and blue? Gateway to Gold is your chance to make that happen. Launched in 2013, Gateway to Gold is a nationwide talent identification and development program that introduces Americans with Paralympic-eligible impairments to Paralympic sport and leads them to the athlete pipeline for the U.S. Paralympic Team. As a cornerstone of Gateway to Gold, U.S. Paralympics and its community partners, including National Governing Bodies/High Performance Management Organizations and Paralympic Sport Clubs, are hosting introduction to sport and talent identification events throughout the country. Gateway to Gold could be your first step toward the podium. Find an event now at GatewaytoGold.org.
To contact U.S. Paralympics, click here.