Paralympic Experience Vancouver delegation announced

Jan. 14, 2010, 2:16 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), announced today the 2010 Paralympic Experience Vancouver delegation, a group representing 13 different states.

Thirteen student athletes with physical disabilities and six adults, made up of coaches, teachers and program leaders, have earned a trip to the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games based on the example each sets in living a healthy, active lifestyle in his or her own community. 

The delegation will travel to Vancouver March 11-17 and have the opportunity to meet U.S. Paralympic Team members, attend the Opening Ceremony and athletic competitions, and build camaraderie with student athletes from other countries. 

"The adults and student athletes participating in Paralympic Experience Vancouver are being rewarded for their commitment to promoting physical activity in their communities," said Charlie Huebner, Chief of Paralympics, USOC.  "Our goal is that each individual will leave Vancouver with a greater passion for being physically active and be inspired to help grow awareness of sport and recreation for individuals with physical disabilities in his or her hometown."

Vancouver marks the fourth Paralympic Experience, with the first event taking place at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

2008 Paralympian Greta Neimanas (Chicago, Ill./cycling) participated in the inaugural experience and said that the event had a profound impact on her: "Being selected to go to Athens was an incredible honor, and meeting Paralympic mentors and being introduced to cycling inspired me to pursue representing my country at the Paralympic Games."

A panel of USOC staff members reviewed the applications and selected student athletes based on an essay or video that discussed how sport has positively impacted their lives.  Coaches, teachers and program leaders were chosen based on their experience and a personal statement.

Student Athletes
Avery Amber (Parker, Colo.)
Kelly Allen (Iron Mountain, Mich.)
Nina Nissly (Lake Forest, Ill.)
Anna Stoffel (Green Cove Springs, Fla.)
Stephanie Jallen (West Pittston, Pa.)
Jill Moore (Concord, N.C.)
Eric Phillips (Chicago, Ill.)
Marlon Shepard (North Yarmouth, Maine)
Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska)
Patrick Parnell (Columbia, Conn.)
Tyler Carter (Topton, Pa.)
Caleb Heisz (Montfort, Wis.)
Ian Kloehn (Menomonee Falls, Wis.)

Maggie Burke (Waterbury, Vt.)            
Kim Seevers (Averill Park, N.Y.)
Mau Thompson (Tabernash, Colo.)
April Wolfe (Truckee, Calif.)
Anthony Fitzgerald (Floral Park, N.Y.)
Thomas Peirce (Big Bear Lake, Calif.)