Laurie Stephens competes at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. (Photo: Joe Kusumoto)
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing today announced the 18 athletes named to its 2022-23 national and development teams.
Led by a wealth of experience, all but one athlete on the national team has Paralympic experience. Paralympic medalists Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colorado), Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska) and Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts) headline the roster, which also includes 12 members of the team that competed at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
The team will compete this season with eyes on the 2023 World Para Snow Sports Championships, which are set for January in Äre, Sweden.
“We are excited about the veteran leadership that is engrained in this team,” Jessica Smith, director, U.S. Paralympics Internal NGBs, said. “These athletes have demonstrated growth and commitment throughout their time in the sport, and will continue to make Team USA a force to be reckoned with on the slopes.”
Stephens and Kurka, who have a combined nine Paralympic medalist between them, each sustained injuries in Beijing that kept them out of much of the competition, but return to the team seeking redemption as they build toward Milan-Cortina in 2026. Prior to Beijing, both Kurka and Stephens won medals at the 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, Norway.
Walsh, meanwhile, went on to win the first Paralympic medal of his career in Beijing, a silver in the men’s standing giant slalom. He makes the roster to lead a large contingent of men’s standing athletes that includes 2022 Paralympians Andrew Haraghey (Enfield, Connecticut), Spencer Wood (Pittsfield, Vermont), Patrick Halgren (Tolland, Connecticut), Jesse Keefe (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Connor Hogan (Foxborough, Massachusetts). The now 18-year-old Keefe made his Paralympic debut in Beijing at 17 as the youngest member of Team USA.
Allie Johnson (Chicago, Illinois) makes the national team roster after a top-10 finish in Super-G at last season’s world championships. Johnson, who made her Paralympic debut in Beijing, is currently one of two women’s standing athletes on the roster.
Paralympians Jasmin Bambur (Granby, Colorado), Ravi Drugan (Eugene, Oregon) and Matthew Brewer (Huntington Beach, California) join Kurka in the men’s sitting category. Bambur has competed in four Paralympic Games, while Drugan and Brewer each saw their first Paralympic action in 2022.
Rounding out the national team roster is teenager Saylor O’Brien (Woodland, Utah). An up-and-coming sit skier, O’Brien makes her first national team roster. Johnson and Brewer join her in earning their first nominations to a national team.
The five athletes named to the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing development team include 2022 Paralympians Kyle Taulman (Winter Park, Colorado) and Robert Enigl (Bozeman, Montana), both men’s sit skiers. Standing athletes Audrey Crowley (Vail, Colorado), Martin Moxley (Grand Junction, Colorado) and Tyler McKenzie (Salt Lake City, Utah) also earned spots on the development team.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
2022-23 U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National and Development Team Rosters
National A Team
Jasmin Bambur, men’s sitting
Ravi Drugan, men’s sitting
Patrick Halgren, men’s standing
Andrew Haraghey, men’s standing
Andrew Kurka, men’s sitting
Laurie Stephens, women’s sitting
Thomas Walsh, men’s standing
Spencer Wood, men’s standing
National B Team
Matthew Brewer, men’s sitting
Connor Hogan, men’s standing
Allie Johnson, women’s standing
Jesse Keefe, men’s standing
Saylor O’Brien, women’s sitting
Audrey Crowley, women’s standing
Robert Enigl, men’s sitting
Tyler McKenzie, men’s standing
Martin Moxley, men’s standing
Kyle Taulman, men’s sitting