Mike Schultz competes in the Men's Snowboard Cross at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 12, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.


The first official Para snowboarding competition was held in 2000 in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. It would take many more years for snowboarding to become a Paralympic sport, however. A group of snowboarders started campaigning for its inclusion at the Paralympic Winter Games in 2005. Their hard work paid off nine years later when snowboarding made its Paralympic debut at Sochi in 2014.

There were just two medal events at the 2014 Games: lower-limb impairment classifications for men and women in snowboard cross. Bibian Mentel-Spee from the Netherlands won gold for the women, while Team USA’s Evan Strong led a U.S. podium sweep for the men. The inclusion of Para snowboarding was such a success that eight more medal events were added for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The Americans dominated the competition, winning five gold medals and 13 total medals, almost tripling the next-closest country (the Netherlands with five). Team USA has won 17 total medals over the two Games, while the Netherlands is the only other country with more than two, boasting six.

There are two snowboarding events at the Paralympics: snowboard cross and banked slalom. Both are a race to see who can cross the finish line first, but each features a different way of getting there. The snowboard cross course features jumps, banked turns and drops, as four riders race at a time. The final race is a head-to-head battle to decide who gets gold or silver. Banked slalom is exactly what it sounds like, a time trial event that features heavily banked turns.

These events are contested at three different categories based on each athlete’s functional ability — SB-LL1 and SB-LL2 for lower-limb impaired athletes, and SB-UL for upper-limb impaired athletes. However, the SB-LL1 classification has been cut from the women’s side, eliminating two medal events that were featured in PyeongChang. This means there will be eight total medal events in Beijing, six for men and two for women.

All snowboarding events will be held at the Genting Snow Park in the Zhangjiakou zone, a popular ski destination about 110 miles northwest of Beijing.

Updated on February 13, 2022. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

Only two months before the Paralympics begin in March, the top snowboarders were competing for world titles. The World Para Snow Sports Championships held Jan. 12-23 in Lillehammer, Norway, marked the first time the world championships in all three sports were held together. The historic event was supposed to be held in February 2021 but was postponed one year due to the pandemic.

Team USA found plenty of success in Lillehammer, as it picked up three golds and eight total medals. Noah Elliott (SB-LL1), Brenna Huckaby (SB-LL1) and Zach Miller (SB-LL2) all took gold in their respective dual banked slalom races, while Mike Schultz finished 1.67 seconds behind Elliott to earn silver. Americans added two more silvers and two bronzes in the snowboard cross races.

The Americans are in good position to repeat their success from PyeongChang, as five Paralympic medalists make up the current national team. There have been five gold medals won among the five athletes, highlighted by Brenna Huckaby’s two. She competes at the SB-LL1 class, which was cut from this year’s Paralympics due to the lack of female athletes that compete at that level. However, she’ll be “competing up” and snowboarding at the LL2 category. 

Noah Elliott (St. Charles, Missouri): Elliot broke onto the snowboarding scene in a big way in PyeongChang, winning a gold in LL1 banked slalom and bronze in snowboardcross. He followed that up with a gold and a silver medal at the 2019 world championships. The 24-year-old is coming off another gold in banked slalom — this time in the new dual format, where riders compete at the same time on identical tracks right next to each other — at Lillehammer.

Brenna Huckaby (Baton Rouge, Louisiana): Huckaby made an impressive first impression at her debut Paralympics four years ago, winning gold in the two events she competed in — LL1 banked slalom and snowboardcross. She’s coming off a successful trip to Lillehammer, where she won gold in the banked slalom and silver in snowboardcross. The 26-year-old, who is an above-the-knee amputee, would be competing in the LL2 category against below-the-knee amputees if she makes it to Beijing. 

Zach Miller (Silverthorne, Colorado): Miller, 22, would be making his debut at the Paralympics after finishing on multiple podiums in the last few years. He earned a bronze medal in his world championships debut in 2019, and he’s coming off a gold in the LL2 dual banked slalom at Lillehammer. He also picked up a gold and bronze in Landgraaf, Netherlands, during this season’s world cup circuit.

Mike Schultz (St. Cloud, Minnesota): Before ever competing in the Paralympics, Schultz had a massive impact on Para sports. After a snowmobiling accident, Shultz had to get his left leg amputated above the knee. He started engineering his own prosthetic knee, and in 2010, he started BioDapt Inc. More than 100 amputees have used BioDapt products, including numerous members of Team USA. The prosthetics clearly work, as Schultz used them to win a gold and silver medal in PyeongChang. The 40-year-old is coming off two silver medals (LL1 dual banked slalom and snowboardcross) at Lillehammer.

March 6 – Snowboardcross qualification 
March 7 – Snowboardcross finals 
March 11 – Banked slalom qualification 
March 12 – Banked slalom final