2010 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team AnnouncedSTEVENS POINT, Wis. - After three tryout competitions, USA's wheelchair curling team for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games has been determined, pending final approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
Leading the way are key members of the team that won the USA's first wheelchair curling medal at last year's World Wheelchair Championship including Augusto Perez (East Syracuse, N.Y.), James Pierce (North Syracuse, N.Y.), James Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.) and Jacqueline Kapinowski (Point Pleasant, N.J.). Patrick McDonald (Orangevale, Calif.) was named the team's alternate.
The selection occurs after three tryouts - one formal tryout that included a skills competition and two on-ice competitions in Ottawa and Utica, N.Y.
Perez, Pierce, Joseph and Kapinowski defeated a team from Ottawa to win the Second Annual U.S. Open International Bonspiel on Sunday in Utica. The team finished 4-1. McDonald was the skip for the other U.S. team that competed, finishing with a 2-3 record.
The team will represent the U.S. at the 2009 World Wheelchair Championship, Feb. 21-28, in Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, March 12-21, 2010, also in Vancouver.
Marc DePerno, USA Curling's national wheelchair curling outreach and development program director, will serve as team leader for the 2009 World Wheelchair Championship. Applications for the team leader position for the 2010 Parlaympics are being accepted by USA Curling until Dec. 15.
In accordance with World Curling Federation rules, must be composed of both genders. No sweeping of the stone is allowed. Games will be eight ends in length (an increase of two ends from season's past).
Here is a look at Team USA (position, name, age, hometown, curling resume):
- Skip, Augusto Perez, 36, East Syracuse, N.Y. USA Curling's 2008 Male Athlete of the Year, Perez competed at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games as well as the two world wheelchair championships (2008, bronze, and 2007)
- Vice skip, James Pierce, 45, North Syracuse, N.Y. Pierce competed at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games as well as three world wheelchair championships (2008, bronze; 2007 and 2005)
- Second James Joseph, 46, New Hartford, N.Y. Joseph competed at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games as well as three world wheelchair championships (2008, bronze; 2007 and 2005)
- Lead, Jacqueline Kapinowski, 45, Point Pleasant, N.J. In her first year of curling, Kapinowski made Team USA and won bronze at the 2008 World Wheelchair Championship.
- Alternate, Patrick McDonald, 42, Orangevale, Calif. McDonald began curling in 2007.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).