PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of Games, which recognize the outstanding performances of Team USA athletes at the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite Paralympic athletes and teams at TeamUSA.org/Awards through Friday, April 6.
The Team USA Awards honor the athletes and teams of the Games in six categories:
- Female Olympic Athlete of the Games, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
- Male Olympic Athlete of the Games
- Olympic Team of the Games, presented by Dow
- Female Paralympic Athlete of the Games
- Male Paralympic Athlete of the Games
- Paralympic Team of the Games, presented by Dow
A nominating committee selected the 2018 Paralympic finalists for the individual athlete and team categories based on nominations from each National Governing Body.
The nominating committee voted to unanimously name the gold medal-winning U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team as the Paralympic Team of the Games, presented by Dow.
The remaining award winners will be announced during the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Games, to be held on Thursday, April 26 in Washington, D.C. The awards show will be televised as a 90-minute feature for the first time ever, and will run on NBCSN on May 12 from 6-7:30 p.m. ET.
In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG.
Paralympic finalists for Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Games
FEMALE PARALYMPIC ATHLETE OF THE GAMES
Brittani Coury (Durango, Colorado), Snowboarding
Brittani Coury slid across the line in her third run in the women’s LL2 class to clock her fastest run of the day and secure the silver meda in the banked slaloml. In her debut Games, Coury broke up a possible Dutch sweep of the podium.
Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Illinois), Nordic Skiing
Making history in her Paralympic debut, Kendall Gretsch won gold in the women’s sitting biathlon sprint to become the first American to win a biathlon gold at the Olympic or Paralympic Games. She also claimed gold in the 12-kilometer cross-country competition and picked up four top-10 finishes.
Brenna Huckaby (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Snowboarding
In her Paralympic debut Brenna Huckaby swept the women’s LL1 snowboarding competition, taking gold in both snowboard-cross and banked slalom. She is the only U.S. athlete to go undefeated in individual competition at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), Nordic Skiing
Overcoming an injury to her right arm, Oksana Masters won five medals (two gold, two silver and one bronze) in biathlon and cross-country competition. Masters leaves PyeongChang as the most decorated athlete on the team and in the history of the Para Nordic program.
Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts), Alpine Skiing
Laurie Stephens extended her streak of finishing on the podium for her four consecutive Games as she captured downhill bronze in the women’s sitting competition. Stephens also finished fourth in super combined, fifth in super-G, seventh in giant slalom.
MALE PARALYMPIC ATHLETE OF THE GAMES
Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas), Nordic Skiing
In his second Paralympic Games, Dan Cnossen medaled in every cross-country and biathlon event he entered. Winning one gold, four silver and one bronze medals, Cnossen also made history as the first U.S. man to win biathlon gold in the Olympic or Paralympic Games.
Noah Elliott (St. Louis, Missouri), Snowboarding
As a newcomer to Para snowboarding, Noah Elliott made his name known as he won gold in the men’s LL1 banked slalom by more than a second and a half. He also clocked the fastest qualifying time in the snowboard-cross en route to grabbing a bronze medal in head-to-head competition.
Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska), Alpine Skiing
After a heartbreaking crash in a training run in Sochi in 2014, Andrew Kurka returned victoriously to win gold in the downhill and silver in the super-G in the men’s sitting classification. He also finished seventh in the super combined. Kurka is the first U.S. man to win a gold medal in alpine skiing since 2006.
Mike Schultz (St. Cloud, Minnesota), Snowboarding
In his Paralympic debut, Mike Schultz moved up through the head-to-head rounds to win gold in the men’s LL1 snowboard-cross. He then made a repeat trip to the podium with silver in the banked slalom.
Andy Soule (Kerrville, Texas), Nordic Skiing
Andy Soule won the first Paralympic gold of his career as he passed three men on the homestretch to win the men’s sitting cross-country sprint. Soule also grabbed a bronze in the individual biathlon and recorded two additional top-five finishes.
PARALYMPIC TEAM OF THE GAMES
U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team
Team USA won gold in a 2-1 overtime victory over Canada to claim an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal at the Paralympic Winter Games.