Record medal haul for Team USA at Parapan American Games

By U.S. Paralympics | Aug. 15, 2015, 12:36 p.m. (ET)

Michael Brannigan, pictured above, raises the stars and stripes after a gold medal win in the men's 1500 T20. 

The 2015 Parapan American Games came to a close on August 15 after eight days of competition. The 239-member U.S. team competed in 14 of the 15 sports on the competition schedule, finishing in third place in the medal standings with 135 total medals, including 40 gold, 51 silver and 44 bronze. The lion’s share of medals went to the track and field team, which won 51, followed by 32 for the swimming team and 19 podium appearances made by the cycling team. The finish marked the most medals ever won by Team USA at a Parapan American Games. The competition included approximately 1,600 athletes from 28 countries within the Americas region.

In addition to medals, Team USA had two world record-breaking performances, both of which were on the track. Jarryd Wallace set the mark in the men’s 100m T44 with a time of 10.71. Teammate Roderick Townsend broke his own world record in the high jump event, jumping 2.12-meters.

Team USA had multiple athletes who earned several medals. Swimmers Haley Beranbaum and Mallory Weggeman tied with the most medals of the Games – five a piece. Cyclist Joe Berenyi won four medals, three of which were gold. Track star Raymond Martin also topped the podium with three gold medal wins, after leading two U.S. podium sweeps in the men’s 100 and 1500 T52 events.

Team USA medaled in seven out of eight team sports, including golds in women’s wheelchair basketball and men’s wheelchair basketball. The women’s sitting volleyball team also won gold by defeating Brazil, making history as the first-ever U.S. women’s sitting volleyball title at the Parapan American Games. After more than a decade, the U.S. men’s sitting volleyball team punched its ticket to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Game with a silver medal . Failing to qualify in 2008 and 2012, the team was last seen at the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004.

With a win against Argentina, the men’s basketball team qualified for a spot in Rio with a 59-36 finish in the semifinal game. The team went on to take gold in the final round defeating Canada, 62-39. The U.S. women’s basketball team also won against host country Canada, and in doing so clinched a berth to the Rio Paralympic Games.

The women’s goalball team won silver against Brazil, and the men’s team echoed their feat, also winning silver against Brazil. Both teams came to Toronto having already qualified for Rio.

U.S. archers tallied eight medals including two golds by Andre Shelby in the men’s compound open and Natalie Wells in the women’s recurve open. Eight medals were nabbed by U.S. table tennis players including first place finish for Benjamin Hadden and Tahl Leibovitz. 

U.S. judokos won four medals, including a silver by Myles Porter in the men’s -100kg, and three bronze medal finishes.

On the court, wheelchair tennis athletes hauled in two silvers and a bronze medal in singles play, and a bronze in women’s doubles by U.S. partners Emmy Kaiser and Kaitlyn Verfuerth.

The biggest Parapan American Games to date concluded on Saturday, August 15th after eight days of intense competition from athletes across the Americas. The next Parapan American Games will take place in Lima, Peru in 2019.