Aaron Pike competes in the Men's 15 km Sitting Biathlon at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games on March 15, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea
Every other Tuesday we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para Nordic skiing. Here’s what you missed!
Less Than 100 Days To Worlds
While much of the 2020 sports calendar was wiped out or at least scrambled by the coronavirus pandemic, the historic 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships provide some hope for a brighter next year.
The event, which is scheduled to run Feb. 7-20, 2021, in Lillehammer, Norway, combines world championships for Nordic skiing as well as alpine skiing and snowboarding. It will be the first time world titles in all three sports are contested at the same event.
Organizers and media outlets marked the 100-day countdown to Lillehammer earlier this month.
Paralympic.org noted the occasion with a look at some of the main storylines to watch for. Among the athletes the site highlighted were Team USA stars Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch, who went 1-2 in five races at the last world championships in 2019.
“Masters finished with the upper hand then,” the site reported, “but the roles could switch at Lillehammer 2021.”
Industry news source Inside the Games also reported on the occasion, with its writeup also calling out Masters and Gretsch. The world championships are expected to feature around 400 athletes competing in 82 medal events.
Team USA stars and super couple Oksana Masters and Aaron Pike donned some special accessories on Oct. 31. No, the U.S. Paralympians weren’t in Halloween costumes but rather face masks adorned with fresh “I Voted” stickers.
“The 2 biggest and powerful accessories of 2020,” Masters shared from Champaign, Illinois. “If we want our voices heard, we must do our part. Get out and VOTE. Let your voice be heard. #vote"
Pike shared a similar photo two days later with a simpler message: “Vote.”
Masters also joined more than 700 others in retweeting Team USA’s “I Voted” post.
RT this if you've voted. We are proud of you. pic.twitter.com/6l3J6g8SD8— Team USA (@TeamUSA) November 3, 2020
For a look at other Team USA stars showing off their ballot drops, check out this compilation from TeamUSA.org.
In case you’re new to Para sports, NBC Olympics shared a helpful get-to-know-you video about Oksana Masters, who is a Paralympian not only in Nordic skiing but also in rowing and cycling.
Eileen Carey, the director of U.S. Paralympics Nordic skiing, will help lead a digital skiing camp Nov. 22-25. Originally planned for April 2020, the Lillehammer Para Nordic Skiing Camp is free to attend, but registration closes on Nov. 12.
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee has hired Nitra Rucker as director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Rucker comes from KeyCorp, where she most recently served as vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion engagement manager.
“The Olympic and Paralympic community is incredibly diverse and has a great opportunity to be a leader in recognizing the power of that diversity to create better and stronger movements,” Rucker said in a press release. “I’m incredibly passionate about this area and am eager to learn how best to bring forth my background and experience to benefit Team USA athletes, and all who work to support them.”
Nobody ever accused U.S. Paralympian Grace Miller of being an indoor person. The U.S. Development Team member and Palmer, Alaska, native frequently shares pictures from around her scenic home state. Earlier this month she was at it again, this time posting the view from her winter campsite at Eska Falls, just north of Anchorage.