- U.S. Paralympics names 14 athletes (nine men, five women) to represent Team USA in snowboarding at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
- Four Paralympic medalists and eight world medalists highlight U.S. roster.
- Team USA will compete in snowboard-cross on March 12 and banked slalom on March 16.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Team USA will bring a star-studded roster of 14 athletes to the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, including returning Paralympic medalists Evan Strong (Maui, Hawaii), Amy Purdy (Silverthorne, Colorado), Mike Shea (Castaic, California) and Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah).
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, announced nine men and five women today who will compete in snowboard-cross and banked slalom, taking place March 9-18, in South Korea. The sport debuted four years ago in Sochi where the American trio of Strong (gold), Shea (silver) and Gabel (bronze) made history with the first-ever men’s U.S. podium sweep at the Winter Games.
“After the successful showing we had in Sochi, I am incredibly excited to see what this group is capable of in PyeongChang,” said Kevin Jardine, director of U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding. “Our strength comes from our experience, drive and depth, which will prove to be important with a sport and international field that have grown immensely over the last four years. Every one of our athletes is a medal contender and it makes me proud to see the level in which they’ve pushed this program heading into the Paralympics.”
The U.S. Paralympic Snowboarding Team will aim to build on its successful four-medal showing in Sochi with the addition of eight more medal events and a new discipline: banked slalom. The 2018 Winter Games will also present athletes with the opportunity to compete in head-to-head snowboard-cross. Since 2014, the International Paralympic Committee has introduced expanded sport classes that includes the split of lower limb classes and an upper limb class.
Also highlighting the roster is an impressive group of athletes poised to challenge for medals in their Paralympic debut. Brenna Huckaby (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) and Mike Minor (Waymart, Pennsylvania) have quickly established themselves as the ones to beat in their respective classes. At the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships, Huckaby won back-to-back world titles in 2017 while Minor collected his first world title in snowboard-cross and silver in banked slalom.
Mike Schultz (Saint Cloud, Minnesota), who won his world championship medal with silver in banked slalom, comes off his best season yet after having won the crystal globe alongside Huckaby in both disciplines. Mark Mann (Woodbury, Minnesota) will also compete in his first Winter Games after capturing bronze for his first world championship medal.
Two athletes also making their Paralympic debut have represented their country in the U.S. Armed Forces. Michael Spivey (Abilene, Texas) and Jimmy Sides (Silverthorne, Colorado) both served in the Marine Corps and made their first U.S. team.
All Paralympic nominations are subject to the approval of the USOC and U.S. Paralympics. For more information on the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Team, visit Team USA’s PyeongChang 2018 microsite and follow U.S. Paralympics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
2018 U.S. Paralympic Snowboarding Team
*denotes U.S. Paralympic medalist
|Arlene Cohen||Breckenridge, Colo.||LL2|
|Brittani Coury||Durango, Colo.||LL2|
|Noah Elliott||Saint Louis, Mo.||LL1|
|*Keith Gabel||Ogden, Utah||LL2|
|Brenna Huckaby||Salt Lake City, Utah||LL1|
|Mark Mann||Woodbury, Minn.||LL1|
|Mike Minor||Waymart, Pa.||UL|
|*Amy Purdy||Silverthorne, Colo.||LL1|
|Nicole Roundy||Salt Lake City, Utah||LL1|
|Mike Schultz||Saint Cloud, Minn.||LL1|
|Jimmy Sides||Silverthorne, Colo.||UL|
|*Mike Shea||Castaic, Calif.||LL2|
|Michael Spivey||Abilene, Texas||UL|
|*Evan Strong||Maui, Hawaii||LL2|