- Dan Cnossen and Oksana Masters take home silver in the sitting class of the individual biathlon.
- Team USA’s medal count rises to 13 in PyeongChang, including five gold, five silver and three bronze.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas) and Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) captured silver medals in the sitting classification of the individual biathlon on the final day of biathlon competition at the Alpensia Biathlon Center.
Today’s medals bring the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing Team’s medal haul to a record 13 medals, with seven of them coming in biathlon. Prior to these Games, the U.S. only owned one biathlon medal in all Olympic or Paralympic competition.
Masters, who continues to excel in spite of an injured right arm, shot clean for 20 out of 20 shots. This marked the first time she has shot clean in a four-stage biathlon competition. Masters covered the 12.5-kilometer course in a time of 50:00.00, 19 seconds behind Andrea Eskau of Germany.
Cnossen extended his medal streak as he picked up his fifth medal of the Paralympic Games, grabbing a medal in every event he has raced thus far. Cnossen had one miss out of 20 shots on the range, and finished second to Martin Fleig of Germany. Cnossen covered the 15km course in a time of 50:42.7. Cnossen served as a Navy SEAL who was awarded both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor from the Secretary of the Navy for his service in combat.
U.S. Paralympic Nordic Team Medal Count: 13
Gold: 5 - Kendall Gretsch (cross-country 12km, biathlon sprint); Oksana Masters (cross-country sprint); Dan Cnossen (biathlon sprint); Andy Soule (cross-country sprint)
Silver: 5 - Dan Cnossen (individual biathlon, biathlon middle-distance, cross-country 15km); Oksana Masters (individual biathlon, biathlon sprint)
Bronze: 3 - Dan Cnossen (cross-country sprint); Oksana Masters (cross-country 12km); Andy Soule (biathlon middle-distance)
TODAY’S INDIVIDUAL BIATHLON FINISHES
2nd: Oksana Masters (Louisville, Ky./women’s sitting)
2nd: Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kan./Navy/men’s sitting)
6th: Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minn./men’s sitting)
8th: Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill./women’s sitting)
9th: Andy Soule (Kerrville, Texas/Army/men’s sitting)
15th: Ruslan Reiter (Manchester, Maine/men’s standing)
On what makes today’s silver medal special...
“This is special because, for one, the conditions were so difficult. It’s snowing, it’s cold. It’s 30-40 degrees colder than yesterday. I’m getting a little bit tired. I had a bit of a mental battle this morning waking up. I was considering pulling out of the race because I really want to be fresh for tomorrow, so to overcome that and still put up a really solid performance is really quite good. I wish I could have cleaned that last stage - I missed one shot. Then I just really tried to hammer on that last lap.”
On if his Navy SEAL training motivated him to come out and compete today…
“I have an excerpt that says it doesn’t matter how you feel today, it doesn’t matter what your background is or where you’re coming from, all that matters is what you can do. I just tried to focus on what I could do today. Not the fact that I didn’t sleep well last night, that doesn’t matter. Just go out there and perform like I know I can.”
On today’s ski condition...
“I went from getting a sunburn a couple days ago during the sprints to freezing right now. The skiing is great, our skis are amazing, the team is amazing putting together some fast skis. I’m so happy I got a chance to redeem myself from the last biathlon race I didn’t get to finish.”
On shooting clean during the competition…
“I have no idea. I just focused on that ‘breathe, exhale, pause, squeeze’ which is everything I’ve been training and practicing. I couldn’t believe it. I almost fell going around the corner telling my coach “I cleaned!” I can’t believe it.”
On how she mentally overcomes the pain of her elbow…
“The way I looked at it, I wasn’t going to get defeated by this elbow. I definitely know I wasn’t skiing at 100 percent, but I wanted to see where I was. I’ve trained four years, the day after Sochi ended. I counted the days, it was like 1,461 days - not that I’m counting - but I was not going to let that basically take away from my Games experience here.”
Today’s event concludes biathlon competition; however, cross-country continues with the middle-distance event on Saturday. Skiing starts at 10:00 a.m. KST (Saturday, March 17)/9:00 p.m. EDT (Friday, March 16).
NBC Olympics is providing 250 hours of coverage from PyeongChang, including 94 hours on television, which is NBC Olympics’ most ever for a Paralympic Winter Games. View the complete TV and streaming schedule here.