2014-15 U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding National Team announced

By Katie Branham | Aug. 11, 2014, 1:57 p.m. (ET)
Mike Shea, Heidi Jo Duce and Evan Strong 
 Mike Shea, Heidi Jo Duce and Evan Strong are three of the Paralympians returning to the U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding National Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced that 10 athletes have been named to the 2014-15 U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding National Team.

“Our team had an amazing year last year, winning four medals in the Paralympic Games debut of snowboarding,” said Kevin Jardine, high performance director, U.S. Paralympics alpine skiing and snowboarding. “We want to take that momentum into the 2015 world championships, and I’m confident this team is going to continue to develop Team USA’s position as a powerhouse of Paralympic snowboarding.” 

Of the four women and six men nominated to the team, eight athletes represented Team USA at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, and four of them came home with medals.

On the men’s side, Evan Strong (Nevada City, California), Mike Shea (Castaic, California) and Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah) came together to sweep the podium in Sochi, and the trio returns to the 2014-15 national team to continue to lead the U.S. as the top Paralympic snowboarding nation in the world. At the end of the 2013-14 season, Strong and Shea were tied for No. 1 in the world in the International Paralympic Committee’s rankings for men with a lower limb impairment, with Gabel ranked No. 4.

Marc Dervaes (West Chester, Pennsylvania) ended the 2013-14 season tied with Roberto Cavicchi of Italy for the No. 1 spot in the upper-limb impairment rankings by the IPC. Dervaes, a retired U.S. Army infantryman with more than 18 years of service, is the one of two military veterans on the snowboarding national team. Retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Tyler Burdick (Salt Lake City, Utah) also returns to the national team.

On the women’s side, Amy Purdy (Las Vegas, Nevada) and Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colorado) highlight the returning athletes. Purdy won bronze at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, before going on to finish as the runner-up on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Duce is tied with Purdy in the IPC rankings, with both athletes sharing the No. 2 spot, behind the Netherlands’ Bibian Mentel.

The IPC Alpine Skiing Para-Snowboard World Cup series will begin in January of 2015, with the season concluding at the IPC Alpine Skiing Para-Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain, February 21-28.

The team roster is subject to change pending athlete acceptance of nomination.

2014-2015 U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding National Team
  • Cristina Albert (Denver, Colo.)
  • Tyler Burdick (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Marc Dervaes (West Chester, Pa.)
  • Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colo.)
  • Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah)
  • Fatu Matagi (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Amy Purdy (Las Vegas, Nev.)
  • Nicole Roundy (Bountiful, Utah)
  • Mike Shea (Castaic, Calif.)
  • Evan Strong (Nevada City, Calif.)