Gateway to Gold
With the help of Olympic champion Bode Miller, U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, launched the Gateway to Gold initiative, a new talent identification program that will introduce people with physical and visual disabilities to Paralympic sport and lead them to the athlete pipeline for the U.S. Paralympic Team. The Gateway to Gold is a prospective athletes’ first step toward the podium as well as the organization’s mission to have the U.S. Paralympic Team ranked No. 1 in the world like its Olympic counterparts.
Miller, a five-time Olympic medalist in alpine skiing who hopes to make his fourth consecutive U.S. Olympic Team next year, and his best friend Cam Shaw-Doran, a former skier paralyzed in a car accident in 1997, were on-hand to launch the program at Team USA Media Summit in Park City, Utah, with Huebner, two-time Paralympic bronze medalist in women’s visually impaired alpine skiing Danelle Umstead and her husband Rob Umstead, who is her skiing guide. Miller and other Olympians will serve as ambassadors for Gateway to Gold, urging people with physical and visual disabilities to dream of competing for Team USA.
As a cornerstone of Gateway to Gold, U.S. Paralympics and its community partners, including National Governing Bodies, Paralympic Sport Clubs and veteran organizations are hosting introduction to sport and talent identification events across the country where athletes with physical and visual disabilities can have their potential measured through athletic skill drills and tests as well as assessment from top level coaches. Talent identification and introduction to sport days, which are open to all Paralympic-eligible disability classes with an emphasis on high school and college-aged athletes and disabled veterans, may be focused on one-sport or include a variety of sports including cycling, rowing and track and field. Talent identification days are free.
Following a talent identification day, athletes will have their marks evaluated, which includes comparison to national team standards, by U.S. Paralympics coaches and high performance staff. Athletes who show high athletic potential in the sport in which they were tested, or show strengths compatible with another sport, will have the opportunity to participate in more advanced U.S. Paralympics events, including clinics and competitions, which will help them to develop as athletes and move toward elite performances.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming an identified U.S. Paralympics emerging athlete please review our sport classifications, results, standards and the annual sport performance plans, then complete the athlete questionnaire.
The questionnaire can be found here: Paralympic Identified Athlete Questionnaire.