Fun Facts

Paralympians and Olympians

The 2015 roster features 96 Paralympians and one Olympian – Brazilian 1984 track and field gold medalist Joaquim Cruz. He is not only the resident coach for the U.S. Paralympics track and field team, but will also be lacing up his shoes to serve as the guide runner for Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt.

Global family
Team USA includes 21 athletes who were born outside of the U.S.

  • One athlete each from: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Spain, Taiwan, Brazil, Vietnam
  • Two athletes each from Mexico and Jamaica
  • Three athletes each from China and South Korea

Standing above the rest
Track and field athlete Roderick Townsend and archer Kinga Kiss-Johnson share the honor of being the tallest athletes on Team USA’s roster at 6 feet 7 inches.

Balancing Act
Sixty-eight athletes balance training time with also being a spouse, and 53 athletes are parents.

Start them young

Swimmer Nelya Schasfoort is the youngest member of the team at only 12 years old.

Multi-lingual athletes

Team USA athletes can speak more than 17 languages, including: American Sign Language, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Farsi.

Double the celebration

Nine athletes will celebrate their birthdays during the Parapan American Games. Four athletes share Aug. 12 as their special day: Anna Johannes (swimming), Desiree Miller (wheelchair basketball), Kaitlyn Verfuerth (wheelchair tennis) and Chad Cohn (wheelchair rugby).

Military Veterans

Twenty two members of Team USA have also served in the military, including two current active duty members. Here’s a breakdown: one Air Force, 13 Army, four Marine Corps and three Navy.

No place like home

Team USA’s athletes currently live in 35 different states, with the most athletes from hailing from California (45) and Colorado (21). Three athletes currently live overseas.