U.S. Paralympics names 2015-16 alpine skiing and snowboarding national teams

By Katie Branham | July 16, 2015, 12:36 p.m. (ET)


(L-R) Mike Shea, Evan Strong and Keith Gabel swept the podium as snowboarding made its Paralympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced that 21 athletes have been named to the 2015-16 U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding National Teams.

“We are excited to have so many of our world championship and Sochi medalists return to the national team,” said Kevin Jardine, high performance director, U.S. Paralympics alpine skiing and snowboarding. “2016 is an interesting year for us with no world championships, but it is a very important year of development as we look forward to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.” 

The alpine team boasts a core group of athletes who have medaled at both the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing world Championships.

On the women’s side, Danelle Umstead and guide Rob Umstead (Park City, Utah) won three world championship medals and one Paralympic medal, while Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts) won one world championship medal and two Paralympic medals and Stephanie Jallen followed up on her two medals from Sochi with one medal at the world championships.

On the men’s’ side, Mark Bathum (Mercer Island, Washington) and guide Cade Yamamoto (Quincy, Washington) return with the most decorated record with two silver medals from Sochi and one silver from the world championships. Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska) also rebounded from early-season injuries to win his first world championship medal with a bronze in the super-G.

The trio of snowboarders Evan Strong (Maui, Hawaii), Mike Shea (Castaic, California) and Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah) who made history with their podium-sweep in Sochi, will once again return to the national team. Shea returns as the reigning world champion in the LL-2 banked slalom, while Strong owns the silver world championship medals in the LL-2 banked slalom and snowboard-cross.

Brenna Huckaby (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) leapt to the top of the world stage in 2015 as she won the women’s LL-1 snowboard-cross world title and finished second in the banked slalom. Teammates Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colorado) and Nicole Roundy (Bountiful, Utah) also walked away from the world championships with two medals apiece.

Four-time Paralympic medalist Chris Devlin-Young (Bethlehem, New Hampshire) is the only military veteran on the roster as he is a retired Petty Officer Third Class, U.S. Coast Guard.

The teams will begin their seasons in the coming months, with the first snowboard world cup being held in Landgraaf, Netherlands on Nov. 19-20, and the first alpine world cup kicking off in Abtenau, Austria on Jan. 15.

2015-2016 U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding National Team
  • Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colo.)
  • Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah)
  • Brenna Huckaby (Baton Rouge, La.)
  • Nicole Roundy (Bountiful, Utah)
  • Mike Schultz (Saint Cloud, Minn.)
  • Evan Strong (Nevada City, Calif.)
  • Michael Shea (Castaic, Calif.)

2015-2016 U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team
  • Jasmin Bambur (Granby, Colo.)
  • Mark Bathum (Mercer Island, Wash.) and guide Cade Yamamoto (Quincy, Wash.)
  • Chris Devlin Young (Campton, N.H.)
  • Stephanie Jallen (Harding, Pa.)
  • Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska)
  • Stephen Lawler (Burlington, Vt.)
  • Staci Mannella (Randolph, N.J.)
  • Melanie Schwartz (Toronto, Can.)
  • James Stanton (Rochester Hills, Mich.)
  • Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Mass.)
  • Danelle Umstead (Park City, Utah) and guide Rob Umstead (Park City, Utah)
  • Tyler Walker (Franconia, N.H.)