BEIJING – After an exhilarating nine days of competition, the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 came to a close on Sunday evening at the Beijing National Stadium. More than 560 athletes from 46 nations took to the world stage to contest five Paralympic sports. Team USA’s 67-member delegation delivered standout performances earning a total of 20 medals (6 gold, 11 silver, 3 bronze).
The U.S. ended the Beijing Games fourth on the medals table with 27 athletes including one guide contributing to the total. Nine athletes took home their first Paralympic medal, while Oksana Masters became the first American to win seven medals at a single Paralympic Winter Games. Amidst a time of global uncertainty, Team USA persevered on and off the field of play.
“Team USA performed exactly how we hoped they would. They delivered world-class performances that embodied grit, strength and unbelievable resilience,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “To the athletes of Team USA, thank you for showing the world what’s possible and for making our nation so incredibly proud.”
The U.S. sled hockey team continued its dominance winning a fifth Paralympic title – fourth consecutive – to remain the sport’s most decorated team in Paralympic history. The team’s 5-0 shutout against Canada becomes the most goals ever scored in a Paralympic sled hockey final. The U.S. was the only undefeated team at the tournament with a 4-0 record.
The women of Team USA dominated on the field of play contributing to 14 of Team USA’s 20 medals. Oksana Masters made history to lead the U.S. as the most decorated Paralympian, winning a medal in every event to which she competed. Masters’ seven medals (3 gold, 4 silver) alone would place her tenth in the overall medals table. Returning Paralympic champions Brenna Huckaby and Kendall Gretsch each added another gold to their collections, while first-time Paralympian Sydney Peterson picked up a trio of Paralympic medals in her debut.
"To be able to witness the masterful performances of our U.S. athletes on the ice and snow has been awesome,” said Julie Dussliere, USOPC chief of Paralympic sport and 2022 Chef de Mission. “We are grateful to our athletes, staff and National Governing Bodies for their support in a successful 2022 Games.”
Off the field of play, stringent COVID-19 countermeasures and testing protocols aided in delivering a safe and successful event despite the ongoing global pandemic. Over the course of the 2022 Games, no athletes of the U.S. delegation tested positive for COVID-19.
Please see below for additional highlights on Team USA’s performance:
- The U.S. remains the all-time leader in Paralympic sled hockey gold medals and is the only country to win four consecutive Paralympic championships. The U.S. now holds five out of eight Paralympic titles.
- U.S. sled hockey captain Josh Pauls holds the most career Paralympic gold medals (4) of any sled hockey player in the world.
- Para Nordic skier Oksana Masters has cemented herself in history as the most decorated U.S. Winter Paralympian with 14 Paralympic medals across the biathlon and cross-country disciplines. Masters is now a 17-time Paralympic medalist across three sports.
- Jake Adicoff and guide Sam Wood are the most decorated U.S. men from the 2022 Games with one gold (mixed relay) and two silver medals (long-distance cross-country, sprint cross-country).
- Two-time Paralympian Thomas Walsh picked up the sole podium appearance in alpine skiing for the U.S. taking silver in the men’s giant slalom, only .04 seconds away from gold.
- Paralympic champion Brenna Huckaby’s banked slalom first-place finish – her third overall Paralympic title – ties her with Netherland’s Bibian Mentel-Spee for the most career Paralympic snowboard golds.
- The wheelchair curling team’s fifth-place finish is Team USA’s second-best Paralympic placement.
- Twelve athletes served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including six athletes who served in the Marine Corps, four in the Army and two in the Navy. Seven veterans – Dan Cnossen, Travis Dodson, Ralph DeQuebec, Jen Lee, Josh Misiewicz, Rico Roman, Joseph Woodke – are leaving Beijing as 2022 Paralympic champions.
- Four multi-sport athletes - Dani Aravich, Kendall Gretsch, Oksana Masters, Aaron Pike - made their second Paralympic Games appearance within six months in the sport of Nordic skiing after competing at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Teammates Gretsch and Masters tallied a combined ten medals in the women’s sitting class.