The year 2018 was filled with amazing highs with the Paralympic Winter Games to sad lows with the loss of a member of the Team USA family. Before we ring in the new year, take a look back at which 18 stories caught fans’ attention most on USParalympics.org in 2018:
18. 2018 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team Announced – Twenty-seven athletes, including two tandem pilots, were named to the 2018 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team. The U.S. roster boasts 17 Paralympians and eight reigning world champions returning to the team.
17. Team USA Celebrates Historic Performances As Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 – The Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 concluded with Team USA having one of its strongest ever showings at a Winter Games. The team of 74 athletes won 36 medals and finished at the top of the overall medal count highlighted by performances by Oksana Masters, Brenna Huckaby, Dan Cnossen and the U.S. sled team.
16.Two U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalists Headline 2018 U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team – Paralympians Rose Hollerman and Abby Duncan led the roster of 17 athletes selected to the U.S. Women’s Team that competed at the 2018 IWBF World Championships in Hamburg, Germany last August.
15. Mike Schultz Selected As U.S. Flag Bearer For Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 – Mike Schultz made his Paralympic debut by leading the 74-member U.S. delegation as the flag bearer into the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium of the 2018 Winter Games. The snowboarder who went on to win two medals - one silver and one gold - was chosen for the honor by a vote of fellow Team USA athletes.
14. U.S. Team Named for 2018 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships – Eighteen athletes, including two tandem pilots, were selected to represent Team USA at the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, March 22-25, in Rio de Janeiro.
13. PyeongChang Opens Paralympic Winter Games With Celebration Of Coexistence And Passion – On the 70th anniversary of the Paralympic Movement, the opening ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games brought to life the universal philosphy of coexistence while looking back at the evolution and celebrating the future of the Paralympic Games.
12. U.S. Paralympic Snowboarding Team Announced for PyeongChang 2018 – A star-studded roster of 14 athletes were named to the U.S. Paralympic Snowboarding Team that competed in snowboardcross and banked slalom and ultimately won 13 medals at PyeongChang 2018.
11. 2018 U.S. Paralympic Team Named – In highly-antiipated news, U.S. Paralympics named the 74 athletes - 20 women and 54 men - competing in five sports at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, March 9-18, in South Korea just weeks before the event.
10. 2018 U.S. Paralympic Curling Team Announced – Five athletes were named to the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Curling Team competing in South Korea, including three athletes making their Paralympic debuts.
9. USA Hockey Unveils 2018 Paralympic Team — Led by captain Josh Pauls, USA Hockey named the The 17-player sled roster that included nine returning Paralympians to the 2018 Winter Games where the team was seeking their third-consecutive Paralympic title.
8. 2018 U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing Team Announced – U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing announced the 13 athletes and two guides who would compete in biathlon and cross-country at PyeongChang 2018. The roster was highlighted by eight Paralympians, including Oksana Masters and Dan Cnossen who went on to tally the most individual medals for Team USA in South Korea.
7. 2018 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-Americans Named — Seventy-five athletes were selected as 2018 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-Americans, marking the largest class to be recognized since the award’s creation in 2010.
6. U.S. Olympic Committee elevates investment in U.S. Paralympians – The United States Olympic Committee board of directors made big headlines in September, as they voted on Friday to increase the monetary awards for medal-earning Paralympic athletes so that Paralympians and Olympians receive equal payouts for their medal performances. With this decision, Operation Gold Awards for Paralympians will now be increased by as much as 400 percent to match the monetary rewards of medal-earning Olympians.
5. Declan Farmer Scores In Final Minute And Overtime To Lift U.S. Sled Hockey Team To Paralympic Gold – In one of the most epic and thrilling championship games at the Paralympics, alternate captain Declan Farmer scored the winning goal in overtime to lead the U.S. over Canada, 2-1, for Team USA's third-consecutive Paralympic gold.
4. U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Team Named For 2018 Paralympic Winter Games – The U.S. announced the roster of 23 athletes including 14 Paralympians and four Paralympic medalists competing in alpine skiing at the 2018 Winter Games.
3. NBC Olympics to Present 94 Hours of Paralympic Television Coverage – NBC Olympics announced unprecedented coverage of the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, including 94 hours on television, which nearly doubles coverage of Sochi 2014. In all, NBC Olympics presented more than 250 hours of coverage across NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app.
2. U.S. Paralympics Swimming mourns the loss of Grace Bunke – In tragic news, the world and Paralympic community lost young swimmer Grace Bunke to cancer at the age of 14. She had been courageously battling osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of bone cancer.
1. NBC Announces Commentators For 2018 Paralympic Winter Games – NBC Olympics announced their Paralympic broadcast schedule and the 12 commentators, including play-by-play commentators, analysts and reporters, who would present their coverage of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, headlined by anchor Carolyn Manno.