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U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing Names World Championships Team

By Kristen Gowdy | Jan. 17, 2023, 12:28 p.m. (ET)

Jesse Keefe competes at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. (Photo: Joe Kusumoto)

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing today named the nine athletes – six men and three women – who will be competing at the 2023 FIS Para Alpine Skiing World Championships in Espot, Spain. Competition runs from January 21-29.

 

Team USA’s roster includes eight Paralympians who will look to utilize their experience on the world’s biggest stage in pursuit of the podium in Espot. Headlined by Paralympic medalists Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts) and Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colorado), the team will seek to build on the four medals it won at last year’s World Para Snow Sports Championships.

 

“This team is eager to continue their competitive progression amongst the best athletes in the world,” Tony McAllister, U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing’s associate director of high performance, said. “We have already had a great start to the world cup season and are excited to continue climbing the ranks as we begin this new Paralympic quad.”

 

Two of the four American medals at last year’s world championships were claimed by Stephens in the women’s sitting category. The seven-time Paralympic medalist, who won her second career world title last season in giant slalom, is already off to a blazing start in the 2022-23 world cup season. Stephens has topped the podium three times thus far in the first half of the season and has also added three world cup silvers to her resumé.

 

Walsh, meanwhile, brought home Team USA’s sole Para alpine skiing medal at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, where he skied to silver in the men’s standing giant slalom. The two-time Paralympian also has two world championship bronze medals to his name and is set for his fourth world championships appearance.

 

Joining Walsh in the men’s standing competition are teammates and fellow Paralympians Andrew Haraghey (Enfield, Connecticut), Jesse Keefe (Bellevue, Idaho) and Patrick Halgren (Tolland, Connecticut). Haraghey, a two-time Paralympian, makes his third world championships roster after recording a career-best 15th-place finish in downhill at last year’s worlds. Keefe and Halgren both made their Paralympic debuts in Beijing, with Keefe competing as the youngest member of the Team USA contingent. Both have already recorded top-10 world cup finishes this season.

 

Rounding out the women’s team is Paralympian Allie Johnson (Western Springs, Illinois) and teenager Saylor O’Brien (Woodland, Utah), who compete in the standing and sitting classifications, respectively. Both have been on a tear as of late, capturing the first world cup medals of their careers in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, this month. Johnson competed at both world championships and the Paralympics last season, recording four top-15 finishes between the two events. O’Brien, meanwhile, is making her world championships debut after earning her first national team roster spot this season.

 

Paralympians Ravi Drugan (Eugene, Oregon) and Matthew Brewer (Huntington Beach, California) will represent Team USA in the men’s sitting competition. Drugan finished eighth in downhill at last year’s world championships, and his best finish in Beijing was 10th in slalom. Brewer is making his world championships debut, having finished 12th in slalom and 25th in giant slalom at his first Paralympic Games last year.

 

Competition in Spain begins January 21 with downhill racing. Follow U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates from Team USA. Full competition results can be found here.

 

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

 

2023 U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing World Championships Team

 

WOMEN

Allie Johnson

Saylor O’Brien

Laurie Stephens

 

MEN

Matthew Brewer

Ravi Drugan

Patrick Halgren

Andrew Haraghey

Jesse Keefe

Thomas Walsh