Skip Matthew Thums, vice skip Steve Emt, second David Samsa, lead Oyuna Uranchimeg and alternate Pam Wilson were officially named as the 2022 U.S. Paralympic Team by National Coach Rusty Schieber and National Team Director Pete Annis.
“These athletes bought in and never looked back,” Schieber said in a USA Curling release. “They have given all they’ve got for the last 20 months, and it starts again March 3.”
March 3 is when the Games kick off from Beijing, where Team USA will be looking to reverse its Paralympic wheelchair curling history. The program’s high-water mark was a fourth-place finish in 2010, and it is coming off a disappointing last-place run at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. But this particular team seems poised to buck that trend.
After missing the 2020 world championships, the team won its way into the 2021 tournament by winning the 2021 World-B championship, the first time a U.S. team had ever won. Then at worlds, the U.S. made the playoffs and finished fourth overall, equaling its best finish since winning bronze in 2008, officially qualifying the country for Beijing. For Emt, who has been on the national team longer than anyone and is its only returning Paralympian, he knows what the team is capable of.
“We could be the best in the world,” he said in advance of the world championships. “If we keep doing what we’re doing and staying the same course with a commitment to each other and to the program, we can be the best team in the world.”
Here’s a closer look at the 2022 Paralympic team.