Team USA Roster announced for 2015 Parapan American Games

By Beth Bourgeois | July 28, 2015, 1:35 p.m. (ET)

Toronto, the city skyline pictured above, will host the 2015 Parapan American Games. 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced the 241-member 2015 U.S. Parapan American Team that will compete at the fifth edition of the Parapan American Games from August 8-15 in Toronto. The current U.S. roster is comprised of 154 men and 87 women, which includes four track and field guides, two active duty service members and 18 veterans.

“We look forward to a great competition in Toronto,” said Rick Adams, chief of Paralympic Sport and NGB Organizational Development. “The U.S. team is made up of a balance of decorated Paralympians, as well as some new talent, all of them looking to find their way to the top of the podium in Toronto. Besides being a proving ground for new athletes, the Parapan Am competition has a direct qualification impact on nine of the 14 sports for Team USA on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”

The 2015 roster features 99 U.S. Paralympians and one Olympian: 1984 Brazilian track and field gold medalist Joaquim Cruz. Cruz, who is the head coach of the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field Resident Program at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., will also serve as the guide runner for Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt, a visually-impaired runner.

Many cyclists will be coming fresh off of the 2015 UCI Para-cycling World Championships from Nottwil, Switzerland, including U.S. Paralympians Joe Berenyi (Oswego, Illinois) and Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Rio hopeful Jamie Whitmore (Mount Aukum, California).

Other notable athletes include 2012 Paralympic judo silver and bronze medalists, Myles Porter (Fremont, Ohio) and Dartanyon Crockett (Cleveland, Ohio).

The women’s sitting volleyball team, which has already qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games based on its silver win at the 2014 world championships, will compete. For the men’s sitting team, qualification for Rio is on the line based on its performance in Toronto; the men’s team must win out to get a bid for the 2016 Paralympic Games.

In track and field competition, men’s 100m T44 world record holder and London 2012 silver medalist Richard Browne (Jackson, Mississippi), along with three-time Paralympian and long jump world record holder Lex Gillette (Raleigh, North Carolina) will compete. U.S. team member and three-time Paralympian and 2012 Paralympic marathon gold medalist Shirley Reilly (Tucson, Arizona) will compete for the women.

The U.S. wheelchair rugby team could qualify for Rio based on a win at the Parapan Ams. Six teams will compete, but only the top finisher in Toronto will get its ticket punched for Rio. 

Team USA will compete in 14 of the 15 sports on the Parapan American Games program; Team USA will not field a five-a-side soccer team. The competition also marks the debut of soccer 7-a-side and wheelchair rugby at the Parapan American Games.

The eight-day competition will feature more than 1,600 athletes from 28 countries.

The 2015 Parapan American Games media guide can be found at TeamUSA.org/ParapanAm.

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