US nominates Alpine skiing team for Sochi 2014 Paralympics
Wednesday, 05 February 2014
February 5 - Five medallists from Vancouver 2010 - Mark Bathum, Alana Nichols, Laurie Stephens, Danelle Umstead and Stephani Victor - have been nominated as part of a 26-strong United States Alpine skiing squad for the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.
Nichols, part of the gold medal winning US women's wheelchair basketball side at Beijing 2008, won two gold medals in Vancouver and was joined atop the podium by Victor who claimed gold in the women's super combined sitting event.
Double Paralympic champion from Turin 2006, Stephens, won silver last time out while Bathum also secured a silver medal and Umstead two bronze at Vancouver 2010.
Two other athletes on the squad have Paralympic medals to their name in the form of Salt Lake City 2002 champion Christopher Devlin-Young and Turin 2006 gold medallist Allison Jones who also claimed cycling gold at London 2012.
In total, 22 Paralympic Alpine skiing medals have been won by the US squad over the past three Games.
Team USA has had a strong 2013-2014 season on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit with 70 podium finishes, and 16 of the 26 athletes have recorded a World Cup podium since the season began back in August.
Joining the seven Paralympic medallists in Sochi will be Lindsay Ball, Stephanie Jallen, Staci Mannella, Melanie Schwartz, Jasmin Bambur, Heath Calhoun, Tyler Carter, Ralph Green, Gerald Hayden, Joel Hunt, Ian Jansing, Andrew Kurka, Jon Lujan, Stephen Lawler, Scott Meyer, Pat Parnell, Jamie Stanton, Joe Tompkins and Tyler Walker.
Diane Barras, Kim Seevers, Rob Umstead and Cade Yamamoto will travel to Sochi with the US team as guides.
"We have put together a very strong team that has incredible depth on both the men's and women's side," said Kevin Jardine, high performance director at US Paralympics alpine skiing and snowboarding.
"When you look at the fact that we've had 16 different athletes podium in World Cup events this season, and we have all five medallists returning from Vancouver, I have every reason to believe that this team can be very successful in Sochi, and I can't wait to see what they do."
Athletes will compete in five disciplines at Sochi 2014 including downhill, super-G, super combined, slalom and giant slalom, with competition due to run from March 8 to 16.
All nominations are subject to approval from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the deadline for final team selections for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games is February 21.
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