U.S. Paralympics Alp... News Seventeen U.S. Paral...

Seventeen U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing athletes nominated to 2022 Paralympic Team

By Kristen Gowdy | Feb. 16, 2022, 2:06 p.m. (ET)

Laurie Stephens competes at the Lillehammer 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships. (Photo: Alex Livesey)

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – Following a stellar world cup season and a four-medal performance at the Lillehammer 2021 Para Snow Sports World Championships, U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing today announced the 17 athletes chosen to represent Team USA at the upcoming Paralympic Games Beijing 2022. The roster features a combination of experienced veterans ­– headlined by seven-time Paralympic medalist Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts), three-time Paralympic medalist Danelle Umstead (Park City, Utah) and two-time Paralympic medalist Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska) – and a host of rising stars who are making their debut on the sport’s biggest stage.

 

“It has been an unprecedented four years for these athletes since we last saw Team USA at the Paralympic Games in 2018, and we are so excited about this group representing us in Beijing,” Jessica Smith, associate director of U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing, said. “The 17 athletes on this roster, as well as everyone in our program, have worked so hard and accomplished so much this quad. We have high expectations for this team, and we know each athlete will perform to the best of their abilities in Beijing.”

 

At the Paralympic Games PyeongChang 2018, Team USA alpine skiers combined for six medals, led by a gold and silver from Kurka. He and Stephens, who took bronze in women’s sitting downhill in Korea, return to the team for their third and fifth Paralympic appearances, respectively.

 

Kurka and Stephens have been fixtures on the world cup podiums this season, and also nabbed two medals apiece in Lillehammer. Stephens earned the second world championship title of her career in giant slalom and also added bronze in slalom, while Kurka took home two bronze medals in downhill and giant slalom to lead Team USA in the men’s sitting class.

 

Joining the veteran duo in the sitting races will be national team members Ravi Drugan (Eugene, Oregon), who is making his Paralympic debut, and Jasmin Bambur (Granby, Colorado), who earns his fourth Paralympic team nomination. Drugan, a 2015 Winter X Games medalist, has broken onto the Para alpine skiing scene in recent years, posting several top-10 results in world cup competition and eighth in downhill at his first world championships in Lillehammer.

 

Bambur, meanwhile, is set to compete in his third Paralympic Games for Team USA and fourth Games overall, having competed at the Paralympic Games Vancouver 2010 as the first Team Serbia athlete in Winter Paralympic history. After receiving his U.S. citizenship in 2010, he made his first U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing national team in 2012 and has continued his successful career for Team USA.

 

Matthew Brewer (Huntington Beach, California), Robert Enigl (Bozeman, Montana), Kyle Taulman (Winter Park, Colorado) and David Williams (Miami, Florida) round out the field of men’s sit skiers for Team USA. Enigl, Taulman and Williams recently made their world championships debuts in Lillehammer as all four sit skiers qualify for their first Paralympic appearances.

 

Umstead and Allie Johnson (Chicago, Illinois) join Stephens on the women’s team and are set to compete in the women’s visually impaired and women’s standing classes, respectively. A three-time Paralympic bronze medalist, Umstead will once again team with her husband and guide, Rob Umstead, for her fourth Paralympic appearance. One of the most decorated visually impaired alpine skiers in U.S. history, Umstead is also a role model for young female athletes with disabilities through her Sisters in Sports Foundation.

 

Johnson will make her Paralympic debut in part because of a strong showing at her first world championships in Lillehammer, where she finished an impressive 11th in women’s standing giant slalom.

 

2018 Paralympian Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colorado) leads an experienced group of men’s standing athletes that includes fellow Paralympians Andrew Haraghey (Enfield, Connecticut), Connor Hogan (Foxborough, Massachusetts), Tyler Carter (Topton, Pennsylvania) and Spencer Wood (Pittsfield, Vermont).

 

After recording a fifth-place finish at the Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, Walsh has since established his place at the top of the U.S. men’s standing roster. A two-time world championships medalist, Walsh nearly earned his third in Lillehammer, finishing fourth in super-combined. The 27-year-old is a medal threat in nearly every event, as he also posted top-10 finishes in giant slalom and slalom and nabbed 11th in downhill at worlds.

 

One of the more experienced Paralympic athletes on the team, Carter returns for what he says will be his third and final Games. At 28 years old, Carter has battled through injuries and setbacks to make his third Paralympic Team. He also works full-time as a supervisor at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

 

This will be the second Games appearance for Haraghey, Hogan and Wood, each of whom competed in PyeongChang. They will be joined in the men’s standing class by 17-year-old Jesse Keefe (Sun Valley, Idaho), who makes his Paralympic debut as the youngest member of the team. Keefe made his first national team this season. The final men’s standing athlete on the 2022 roster, Patrick Halgren (Tolland, Connecticut) will make his Paralympic debut just over a month after his world championships debut in Lillehammer.

 

The Paralympic Games begin on March 4, and alpine skiing will kick off March 5. Following record-breaking coverage of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, NBC has announced a historic broadcast schedule for its Winter Paralympic programming, which features more than 230 hours of coverage across NBC, Peacock, USA Network, the Olympic Channel, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App. NBC’s scheduled programming also includes the first-ever Winter Paralympic Games primetime coverage.

 

For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.

 

 

2022 U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing Paralympic Team

 

Women:  

Allie Johnson, women’s standing

Laurie Stephens, women’s sitting

Danelle Umstead (with guide Rob Umstead), women’s visually impaired

 

Men:

Jasmin Bambur, men’s sitting

Matthew Brewer, men’s sitting

Tyler Carter, men’s standing

Ravi Drugan, men’s sitting

Robert Enigl, men’s sitting

Patrick Halgren, men’s standing

Andrew Haraghey, men’s standing

Connor Hogan, men’s standing

Jesse Keefe, men’s standing

Andrew Kurka, men’s sitting

Kyle Taulman, men’s sitting

Thomas Walsh, men’s standing

David Williams, men’s sitting

Spencer Wood, men’s standing