U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team announced

By U.S. Paralympics | June 29, 2012, 11:30 a.m. (ET)

Andy Soule Andy Soule, the first American to ever medal in biathlon at the Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games, highlights the roster for the 2012-13 U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing National Team.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ― U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today that six athletes were nominated to the 2012-13 U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing National Team; three athletes were also named to the development team for emerging and military athletes.

The national team is highlighted by five athletes with U.S. military ties including Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas), ret. Army, and Lieutenant Dan Cnossen (Jamestown, Mich.), U.S. Navy.  Soule won the bronze medal in biathlon at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, becoming the country’s first ever medalist in Paralympic or Olympic biathlon. Last winter, in just his second season with the program, Cnossen was Team USA’s top performer, garnering multiple top-10 results in biathlon and cross country events. Kelly Underkofler (St. Paul, Minn.), a three-time U.S. Paralympian, is also among the national team nominees.

“I am excited to nominate a team of Nordic athletes who are highly talented and absolutely determined to climb on to the podium in the coming years,” said Director of Paralympic Nordic Skiing High Performance, U.S. Paralympics, John Farra. “Our program is building, and towards that end, we have worked hard this season to increase the opportunities for U.S. Paralympics Nordic athletes, including inviting 16 athletes to participate in the IPC World Cups we held in Hayward, Wis., and Minneapolis.  We were thrilled to see a significant improvement in the numbers of athletes participating in Nordic this past season, as well as the number of athletes on track to compete for medals in Sochi in 2014.”

The 2012-13 season includes the IPC World Championships as well as World Cup competitions in Poland and Ukraine. The World Cup, which kicks off the season in December in Finland, finishes with test event in Sochi, Russia, at the site of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Nominees to the U.S. Paralympics Nordic National and Development Teams are:

National Team

  • Lt. Dan Cnossen (Jamestown, Mich.), Navy
  • Erik Frazier (Maple Hill, N.C.), ret., Marines
  • Sean Halsted (Spokane, Wash./Twin Lakes, Idaho), ret., Air Force
  • Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas), ret., Army
  • Kelly Underkofler (St. Paul, Minn.)
  • Jeremy Wagner (Honolulu, Hawaii), ret., Army Reserves

Development Team

  • Alicia Brelsford Dana (Putney, Vt.)
  • Augusto Perez (East Syracuse, N.Y.)
  • Kristy Vaughn (Corry, Pa.)

For more information on the Paralympic Nordic athletes or program, please contact John Farra at 719-351-1594 or john.farra@usoc.org.