Beyond the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, U.S. athletes were busy competing in other major events. Team USA participated in various world championships and elite international events including making history in 2018 by winning the United States’ first-ever Para-equestrian dressage medal. Take a look at some of the highlights outside of the Winter Games from 2018:
Team USA earned 15 medals at the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Maniago, Italy with nine gold, four silver and two bronze for second place on the overall medal leaderboard. American athletes improved its performance from the 2017 world championships, where the team won 11 medals. The handcycle relay team of Will Groulx, David Randall and Oz Sanchez (pictured below) beat out the host Italian team to become the world champions, as Groulx and Sanchez earned two additional medals.
Twenty-seven American crews competed in the 2018 World Rowing Championships, held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in September. The U.S. Para-rowing team earned two medals – a silver from the mixed coxed four and a bronze from Hallie Smith in the PR1 women’s single sculls – as Team USA won a total of 10 medals during the regatta to top the overall medal count. The mixed coxed four’s silver medal was its fifth consecutive medal of that color at a world championship or Paralympic Games.
The U.S. earned a bronze medal at the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship in Sydney, Australia, with a 47-36 win against Great Britain. Team USA finished the event with a 6-1 record, after entering the world championship as the second-highest seed behind host country Australia. Their single loss during the six days of play was to Japan.
The U.S. men and women finished second and sixth respectively at the 2018 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Hamburg, Germany this past August. The American women fell 68-53 to Canada, finishing with a 4-4 record and a sixth place finish, the lowest ever in its history at the World Championships. The U.S. men earned a 6-1 record and a silver medal after a 79-62 loss to Great Britain. The men have played for a gold medal in 11 of the last 12 world championships and have brought home a medal from all world championships thus far.
American riders Rebecca Hart, Kate Shoemaker and Roxanne Trunnell made history at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 with a four-medal performance – the first medals in program history at the event – at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018. Hart made her own mark, earning the first ever Para-equestrian dressage medal for the U.S. in September.
Forty-six Team USA track and field athletes competed at the 2018 Desert Challenge Games in Tempe, Arizona. The June meet was the only World Para Athletics Grand Prix to take place in the United States and was highlighted by world records set by Paralympians Daniel Romanchuk and Breanna Clark.
Seventeen elite paratriathletes represented Team USA at the 2018 ITU Elite Paratriathlon World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia this September. Both Mark Barr and Allysa Seely earned gold medals to round out their undefeated elite paratriathlon seasons, as Team USA earned five medals overall at the event.