Oksana Masters (left) and Kendall Gretsch (center), who each claimed two gold medals in South Korea, were named to the 2018-19 national team.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced the eleven athletes (six men, five women) named to the 2018-19 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team. All eleven athletes selected to the team competed at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
“Each athlete on the national team played a huge role in Team USA’s success in PyeongChang,” said Eileen Carey, director of U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing program, and we are eager to continue developing our program as we get ready for the upcoming season and look ahead to Beijing 2022.”
The team is headlined by Paralympic gold medalists Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Illinois) and Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas). Overcoming an injury to her right elbow during the Paralympic Winter Games, Masters won five medals (two gold, two silver and one bronze) in biathlon and cross-country events, leaving PyeongChang as the most decorated female athlete on the team and in the history of the Para Nordic program.
Dan Cnossen and Kendall Gretsch made history in the biathlon sprint by becoming the first Americans to win biathlon gold in Paralympic or Olympic Winter Games history. On top of their performances in the biathlon sprint, Cnossen medaled in every cross-country and biathlon event he entered en route to winning one gold, four silver and one bronze medals, while Gretsch also claimed gold in the 12-kilometer cross-country competition.
Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota), who shot clean in the individual biathlon in PyeongChang, returns to the national team after recording three top-10 finishes at the Paralympic Winter games.
Seven additional Paralympians were named to the development team: Sean Halsted (Spokane, Washington), Grace Miller (Palmer, Alaska), Bryan Price (Leeton, Missouri), Ruslan Reiter (Manchester, Maine), Joy Rondeau (Granby, Colorado), Mia Zutter (Sun Prairie, Wisconsin) and Jeremy Wagner (Nānākuli, Hawaii).
The team features four retired U.S. military members in Cnossen (Navy), Halsted (Air Force), Price (Army) and Wagner (Army).
The U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing program is coming off a record-breaking performance in PyeongChang. Improving from three medals won in Sochi, Team USA took home an unprecedented 16 medals, including six gold, seven silver and three bronze. Of the 16, nine were secured in cross-country races and seven were in biathlon events.
2018-19 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Teams
*Denotes U.S. Paralympian in Nordic skiing
# Denotes retired U.S. Military
*#Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kan./Navy) – sitting
*Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.) – sitting
*Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kent.) – sitting
*Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minn.) – sitting
*#Sean Halsted (Spokane, Wash./Air Force) – sitting
*Grace Miller (Palmer, Alaska) – standing
*#Bryan Price (Leeton, Mo./Army) – sitting
*Ruslan Reiter (Manchester, Maine) – standing
*Joy Rondeau (Granby, Colo.) – sitting
*#Jeremy Wagner (Nānākuli, Hawaii/Army) – sitting
*Mia Zutter (Sun Prairie, Wis.) – visually impaired