Jake Adicoff and his guide Sam Wood celebrate on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's sprint free vision impaired during the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on March 9, 2022 in Beijing.
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – Team USA athletes raced to one bronze and two silver medals in Para cross-country skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Wednesday at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre.
The warm, sunny day brought slushy conditions for races across the para cross-country classifications: sitting, standing and visually impaired. Team USA came to race and did not disappoint.
In the men’s sprint free visually-impaired, Jake Adicoff and guide Sam Wood earned their second silver medal of the Winter Games finishing in 3:20.3.
Canada’s Brian McKeever and guide Russell Kennedy edged out Adicoff and Woods by .08 for gold, and Sweden’s Zebastian Modin and guide Emil Joensson Haag took bronze in 3:37.8. American Max Nelson and guide Simi Hamilton placed 14th overall in Nelson’s Paralympic debut.
“It was a totally tactical day out there, but that's what we love about sprint racing,” Adicoff said. “And that's what makes it fun.”
“Today we just felt those moments of really skiing well and really skiing big,” Wood said. “We're going to feed off those moments and just keep finding them. We have a lot of confidence. We can ski in the fast snow, and we can ski in the slow snow.”
The duo is two-for-two in Beijing Paralympic podium finishes, earning silver in men’s long distance classic visually-impaired on Monday. Adicoff, a 26-year-old Idaho native, said they like the variability in their race schedule, but sprint day is by far their favorite.
Another secret to their success? Their partnership.
Adicoff came out of retirement to join forces with friend Wood in the lead-up to Adicoff’s third Paralympic Winter Games.
“We have a lot of trust in each other,” Wood said. “It's really understanding Jake and how he skis. I think today that really came into play, especially at the start, just being able to push hard and know that Jake was going to be there with me.”
“I was also more nervous than I have been for any race right before the final here. Sam told me that I was looking cool, and that was a big help,” Adicoff joked. “Maybe more so than I should admit.”
Despite their relaxed nature together, Adicoff was clear that the goal is a gold medal for Beijing 2022.
“I said it before, and I’ll say it again; we're going for gold,” Adicoff said.