Out with the old, in with the New Year
USParalympics.org caught up with U.S. Paralympians and hopefuls to discuss their plans for New Year's Eve and their goals and resolutions for 2013. What is your resolution? Leave a comment below.
Chris Ahrens, soccer (seven-a-side)
How are you ringing in the New Year? I will be with my fiancée and her friends in Boston.
What are your goals for 2013? To help the U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team finish in the Top 8 at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup and earn a spot in the 2015 world championships.
Chuck Aoki, wheelchair rugby
How are you ringing in the New Year? I’ll be spending New Years with my friends, celebrating what has been a truly unforgettable year. From all the highs and lows the Paralympic Games brought, 2012 was still an amazing experience.
What is your New Year’s resolution? My New Year's resolution is to recruit more athletes to wheelchair sports, whether in my sport of rugby, or any other sport. I hope to help both youth and adults find a sport that fits them, and can help them lead a healthier lifestyle.
What are your goals for 2013? My sport specific goals for 2013 are winning a third consecutive national championship in wheelchair rugby, taking back our No. 1 world ranking for USA wheelchair rugby in June and winning the American Zonal Championships in September, for the third straight time as well.
Amanda Everlove, swimming
How are you ringing in the New Year? I'm not sure yet about New Year's Eve, but I'll be flying back to school (St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind.) the morning of Jan. 1 so that I can get back in time to leave for our winter training trip in Arizona.
What is your New Year’s resolution? To study more. The sad life of a student!
What are your goals for 2013? I have my eye on a couple more American records that I'd like to take down.
Lee Ford, archery
How are you ringing in the New Year? I’m spending time with friends
What is your New Year’s resolution? My New Year’s resolutions are to continue work on my mental game and to get my body as healthy as possible.
What are your goals for 2013? I want to win a world championship in Bangkok, Thailand, next November.
Jen French, sailing
How are you ringing in the New Year? We spend New Year's Eve at home but we always celebrate New Year's Day at a party with friends
What is your New Year’s resolution? After being away for the campaign, I plan to spend more valued time with family and friends.
What are your goals for 2013? My goal is to sail the “fun” regattas with family and friends. I also want to host my nieces and nephews for summer sailing camp. It reminds me of why I love the sport.
Alyssa Gialamas, swimming
How are you ringing in the New Year? I am celebrating the New Year with my family at our favorite restaurant. After dinner, I am ringing in the New Year with my closest friends.
What is your New Year’s resolution? My New Year's resolution is to focus on school and finishing my junior year in high school strong.
What are your goals for 2013? My goals are to continue improving in swimming and to represent Team USA this summer at the International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championship.
Lex Gillette, track and field
How are you ringing in the New Year? I'm going to be ringing in the New Year in Puerto Rico with some friends.
What is your New Year's resolution? I want to seriously work on losing a few pounds, not because I'm overweight, but because I think I'll benefit from it in the upcoming season.
What are goals for 2013? I think the biggest thing is staying injury free. I also want to compete at a lighter weight in hopes of running some faster times and jumping further. Finally, I want to win a world championship title in Lyon, France for the best country on earth —USA.
Taylor Lipsett, sled hockey
What is your New Year's resolution? My 2013 New Year’s resolution is going to be a continuation from the previous year, which is to eliminate soda and fast food from my diet. I did extremely well adhering to my resolution last year, and want to keep it going. Not only does this make me feel better but I also think it helps me train harder, see better results and perform better on the ice. I am going to add an all-around healthier diet and more stringent training routine this year, as the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games is nearing. With Sochi constantly on my mind, and defending gold as the only option, everything for the next year and a half will be based on that end result in mind.
Amanda McGrory, track and field
How are you ringing in the New Year? I will be ringing in 2013 by having a Scrabble marathon with my mom.
What is your New Year's resolution? My New Year’s resolution is to floss more often. Also, I’m resolving to wear more hats next year.
What are your goals for 2013? My No. 1 goal for the New Year is to become stronger on the track. I was really disappointed with my performance in London, finishing fourth in the marathon and seventh in my other events. My goal is to improve on those results.
Clark Rachfal, cycling
How are you ringing in the New Year? Between Christmas and the New Year, I’m heading to Chicago to spend time with my girlfriend’s family. Then, we’ll drive down to Asheville, N.C., and hangout there through New Year’s Day. This will be my first time in both Chicago and Asheville. I’m excited for the trip and looking forward to the adventure.
What is your New Year’s resolution? I have several resolutions for 2013. I’m taking a new approach to New Year’s resolutions. This year, I’m breaking them into two categories: vanity goals and personal growth/development goals. First, my vanity goals: to get a six-pack and to get bigger legs/a bigger engine. In theory, these will make me faster. And if not, at least I’ll look good which some may say is more important.
Second, my personal goals are to take more calculated risks and to conduct more deliberate practice. I have no problem taking risks in a game or a race, because the outcome is limited to that race. If it helps, great. But if not, I learn from it and line up for the next race. However, I’m more hesitant to take risks outside of sport, because the consequences of say, taking a risk at work, ripple and have repercussions far beyond that one isolated event. However, sometimes in life, just like racing, you can’t get anywhere if you don’t take any risks. Practicing more deliberately is easier to explain. I need to be more present in mind and body while training and working. I need to avoid setting myself on autopilot in order to simply complete a task or workout. I need to embrace the effort and own the work I do and the final product.
What are your goals for 2013? Winning, everything, and looking good while doing so, is always the goal. Aside from that, 2013 will offer great opportunities to grow and set a firm foundation for success in Brazil come 2016.
Jennifer Schuble, cycling
How are you ringing in the New Year? Every year the bicycle community has a New Year’s resolution ride which I will take part in. It is a 50 mile bicycle ride that will have a breakfast afterwards. Also, I love football so I will definitely be watching the BCS bowls and especially the national championship game. I am super excited for this year’s national championship game because my alma mater is University of Alabama. Roll Tide!
What is your New Year’s resolution? My New Year’s resolution is to work on my road time trial skills and ride my time trial bike at least twice a week. For the last two years, my focus was preparing for the track cycling events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. I spent numerous hours training on Velodrome and on my road bike as my road time trial bike collected dust. With no track cycling world championships in 2013, I am trading boards for asphalt.
What are your goals for 2013? My road cycling goals for 2013 are to make the U.S. Paralympic Cycling Team for the road cycling world championships team and make the podium. My track cycling goals for 2013 are a little different since there are no major Paralympic track cycling events next year. I will race in USA Cycling Elite Timed and Elite Mass Start Track National Championships. My goals will be to continue to improve my times and track skills in order to prepare me for my four year goal of returning to the Paralympic Games in 2016.
Mike Shea, snowboarding
How are you ringing in the New Year? I’ll be ringing in the New Year the same way I have been doing for the last five years: in bed watching New Year’s Eve countdown, the show that Dick Clark hosted. I'm a party pooper now but believe me, I’ve already had my fair share of all night New Year’s Eve partying.
What is your New Year's resolution? New Year’s resolutions never really work. I think that people shouldn't wait for the first of the year to make positive changes in their lives. Every day should be a time for resolution.
What are your goals for 2013? This season, I hope to mentally and physically prepare myself for NorAm and World Cup snowboard cross races. If I can be mentally focused on those tasks, I have the best shot at qualifying for the U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding “A” National Team.
David Wagner, wheelchair tennis
How are you ringing in the New Year? I will be at my brother’s house to ring in the New Year.
What are your goals for 2013? I want to continue to improve my game, while competing and winning as many events as possible.
Justin Zook, swimming
What is your New Year’s resolution? I plan on becoming a better student of the sport of swimming. Now that I am coaching, I want to continue learning and gaining more knowledge in order to better help my swimmers at Miami Country Day Aquatics reach their goals.
What are your goals for 2013? I have recently decided to continue training. I have found a new coach in Miami, head coach of Miami Country Day Aquatics Megan Pittman. She is dedicated towards helping me progress and hopefully become a better all-around swimmer. I am excited for the next year of swimming and after this year I will reevaluate everything again.