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U.S. Paralympics

U.S. Paralympics

One year until the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games

March 07, 2013, 11:10 a.m. (ET)

Are you ready?

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games are 365 days away.

Get ready for 10 days of athleticism and inspiration.

Just two weeks after Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games, the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place March 7-16 in Sochi, Russia. The Paralympic Winter Games will feature seven disciplines of five sports, as recognized by the International Paralympic Committee, for a total of 72 medal events, including men's and women's standing snowboard cross, which will make its debut in Sochi as a part of the alpine skiing program.

The competition is expected to draw 700 athletes from 45 countries.

United States athletes are expected to compete in each of the five sports (alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, sled hockey and wheelchair curling) contested in Sochi. But at the one year until the Games mark, the U.S. has only qualified for the wheelchair curling competition, based on a top nine ranking on the World Curling Federation wheelchair curling qualification points list following the 2013 WCF World Wheelchair Championships.

The U.S. can qualify in sled hockey with a top five placement at the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships (A), held April 12-20 in Goyang City, Korea. The IPC will allocate spots in the alpine skiing, biathlon and cross-country competitions by June 3, 2013.

While the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team will be named in July, pending Games qualification, and the wheelchair curling squad will be named in December, the roster for Nordic skiing will be named Jan. 31, 2014, and the roster for alpine skiing will be named Feb. 17. The entire 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team will be named no later than Feb. 21, the deadline to submit delegation rosters to the IPC. 

The U.S. sent 50 athletes to the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, winning four gold medals, five silver medals and four bronze medals, finishing fifth overall in the medal count. In 2010, Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas), a U.S. Army veteran, won a bronze medal in the men’s sitting 2.4-kilometer individual pursuit biathlon event, becoming the first U.S. biathlete to medal at an Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games.

Of the 50 athletes who competed in Vancouver, five were military athletes: alpine skier Heath Calhoun (Clarksville, Tenn.), ret., U.S. Army; Nordic skier Sean Halsted (Spokane, Wash./Twin Lakes, Idaho), ret., U.S. Air Force; wheelchair curler Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.), retired U.S. Army; Soule; and alpine skier Chris Devlin-Young (Campton, N.H.), ret., U.S. Coast Guard. All five athletes are Sochi hopefuls.

Calhoun, who was injured in Iraq, was the U.S. flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony.

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