2015-16 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team announced

By Brianna Tammaro | June 01, 2015, 4:14 p.m. (ET)

Oksana Masters, pictured at Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, is one of three athletes named into the 2015-16 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National A Team. 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Eight athletes were named today to the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team ahead of the 2015-16 season by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee.

The roster boasts Paralympic experience with all eight U.S. athletes having competed at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, including medalists Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) and Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland). Masters, McFadden and Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) also represented Team USA in the 2012 Paralympic Summer Games in London.

“I am thrilled to name a strong and increasingly experienced team of athletes to our national and development Teams for the 2016 season,” said John Farra, high performance director U.S. Paralympics Nordic skiing. “We have built a strong program with excellent coaching and support for those committed to becoming the best in Nordic skiing, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish together in the coming year.” 

The men’s team is highlighted by four veterans from three U.S. military branches: Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas) of Navy, Sean Halsted (Rathdrum, Idaho) of Air Force, Bryan Price (Belton, Missouri) of Army and Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas).

Soule, a 2010 Paralympic bronze medalist in biathlon and nine-time national team member, made history in 2015 by winning a U.S.-best five medals at January’s world championships in Cable, Wisconsin in the men’s sitting category. In addition to world championship success, Soule and teammate Cnossen won five and six world cup medals respectively in the 2015 season.

On the women’s side, two-time Paralympic medalist Masters returns for only her fourth winter season after a standout run in 2015, winning her first ever world championship medals and the overall IPC cross-country world cup title. She took home ten world cup medals, including seven gold, that propelled her to the top of the women’s sitting class. Masters is joined on the national team by 11-time Paralympic medalist McFadden. The two earned a combined three cross-country skiing medals at the 2014 Games, the first for U.S. women in Paralympic cross-country skiing since 1994.

“Oksana became a student of skiing last year,” U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing head coach Eileen Carey said. “She analyzed everything and used her trademark determination to work on the elements of her racing that had previously held her back.  She made huge improvements through this method and there is much more to come. ”

National A Team

  • Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas), sit ski, retired U.S. Navy
  • Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), sit ski
  • Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas), sit ski, retired U.S. Army

National B Team

  • Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota), sit ski

National C Team

  • Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland), sit ski
  • Jake Adicoff (Sun Valley, Idaho), visually impaired

National Development Team

  • Sean Halsted (Rathdrum, Idaho), sit ski, retired U.S. Air Force
  • Bryan Price (Belton, Missouri), sit ski, retired U.S. Army