Paralympic Games countdown: One team
With one day until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, it is time to begin the celebration of one ideal that unites us from coast to coast, Team USA. The 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team consists of 227 athletes, including 20 veterans and service members, from 42 states and the District of Columbia. Over 11 days, the 133 men and 94 women will compete in 19 sports, trying to surpass the 99 medals won at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
“Each of the 227 Americans named to the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team are ready to captivate the world, on and off the field of play, just as our Olympians have,” said Scott Blackmun, chief executive officer for the United States Olympic Committee. “Our Paralympians embody what it means to be an American. They will compete with the pride and honor that is inherent in representing the United States of America, inspiring Americans young and old with their stories of triumph.”
Michael Murray (Nashville, Tenn.) is the first U.S. athlete with an intellectual disability to compete in the Paralympic Games in 12 years. The 2012 U.S. Paralympic Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team has 11 members. Minnesota will be represented at the Games by 10 athletes. Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) is swimming in nine events, trying to add nine medals to her already stellar collection of nine medals that includes even gold medals. Eight American rowers are competing in London.
Seven members of the cycling team have competed previously at a Paralympic Games. The London 2012 Paralympic Games are the sixth overall Games for cyclist Allison Jones, who also competes in the Paralympic Winter Games as a ski racer. Flag bearer Scott Danberg (Cooper City, Fla.) is competing in his fifth Paralympic Games.
Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas) is aiming to further the world record in the men’s discus T44 for the fourth time this summer. Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.) and David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.) are on track for a third consecutive gold medal in the quad doubles event of wheelchair tennis. Two McFaddens, Tatyanna and younger sister Hannah, will become the first sisters to race against each other for Team USA.
They all compete for one team: Team USA.