U.S. Cross Country Ski Team ready for Vancouver

March 10, 2010, 7:56 p.m. (ET)

WHISTLER OLYMPIC PARK, BC - The 2010 U.S. Paralympic Cross Country Ski Team is strong heading into competition after successful training leading up to the Winter Games in Vancouver. The first day of cross country competition is scheduled for Sunday, March 14.

"Everyone prepared the way that would help them the best, some of those people prepared at home with their families and some of those people went to the places that they've done well in the past," said head coach Greg Rawlings. "Everyone prepared themselves in a comfortable environment that would be positive and healthy."

Heading the U.S. Team push for gold will be Chris Klebl (Heber City, Utah), Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas) and Sean Halsted (Spokane, Wash.), all of whom have been inside the top 10 on several occasions during the World Cup circuit. Klebl's specialty is the distance races, while Soule and Halsted shine in the sprints.

"Chris is a studied athlete, he knows the game and he spends a lot of time getting ready for it," said Rawlings. "Andy's really fast and could be a big threat in the sprint and Sean's proved to be great over the last couple of years in the sprint races."

Greg Mallory (Portland, Ore.) could also be a potential threat in the sprint race. Mallory is coming in strong after winning the U.S. Cross Country Championships sprint qualifier race.

"The goal is to get two guys into the finals," said Rawlings. "Then we'll go from there."

The Team will compete in five days of competition spread out through the 11 day event. Opening Ceremonies will be held on Friday, Mar. 12.

Whistler Olympic Park, BC

March 14
Men's sitting 15K
Women's sitting 10K

March 15
Women's standing and visually impaired 1.5 K FR

March 18
Men's 10K CL
Women's 5K CL

March 21
Men's and women's 1K sprint