With one day until the first competition at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee World Championships, it is time to begin the celebration of one ideal that unites us from coast to coast, Team USA. The 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field World Team consists of 76 athletes competing in more than 100 events.
“At the national championships, there were some incredible performances that we hope will translate to medals in Lyon,” said Cathy Sellers, high performance director for U.S. Paralympics track and field. “While we have come to expect great things from athletes like Tatyana McFadden, who won her six events, or David Prince, who set two world records, there were a lot of newcomers who caught our attention. It is an exciting time for U.S. Paralympics track and field. With the leadership of our veterans combined with the eagerness of our rookies, I know there will be no shortage of highlights at the world championships.”
The world team is highlighted by 23 men and 11 women who competed in London, including gold medalist Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas), four-time gold medalist Raymond Martin (Jersey City, N.J), three-time gold medalist Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) and gold medalist Shirley Reilly (Tucson, Ariz.). Of the 18 Team USA athletes who combined for 28 medals at the Paralympic Games, 15 are on the world team.
Paralympic bronze medalist David Prince (Sarasota, Fla.), who set world records in the men’s 200 and 400-meters (T44) at the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships, and Cassie Mitchell (Atlanta, Ga.), who set a world record in the women’s F52 shot put, are among the top contenders for medals in Lyon.
Prince highlights a strong roster of ambulatory sprinters that also includes Paralympic silver medalist in the men’s 100m (T44) Richard Browne (Jackson, Miss.), who recently tied the 100m world record in an unsanctioned competition. Paralympic silver medalist in the 400m (T44) and bronze medalist in the 200m (T44) Blake Leeper (Kingsport, Tenn.), reigning world champion in the men’s 100m (T44) Jerome Singleton (Irmo, S.C.), reigning Parapan American Games champion in the men’s 100m (T44) Jarryd Wallace (Athens, Ga.) and Paralympic silver medalist in the men’s 200m (T42) Shaquille Vance (Houston, Miss.) are also on the world team.
Ten veterans and two active duty service members have been named to the team. U.S. Paralympics, through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, is providing thousands of opportunities for veterans and service members with physical disabilities to compete in Paralympic sport at the recreational, intermediate and elite levels.
While each athlete has a different story, they all have one thing in common – Team USA.