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U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Names 2018/2019 National Team

(Press release)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced the eleven athletes (six men, five women) named to the 2018-19 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team. All eleven athletes selected to the team competed at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

“Each athlete on the national team played a huge role in Team USA’s success in PyeongChang,” said Eileen Carey, director of U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing program, and we are eager to continue developing our program as we get ready for the upcoming season and look ahead to Beijing 2022.”

The team is headlined by Paralympic gold medalists Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Illinois) and Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas). Overcoming an injury to her right elbow during the Paralympic Winter Games, Masters won five medals (two gold, two silver and one bronze) in biathlon and cross-country events, leaving PyeongChang as the most decorated female athlete on the team and in the history of the Para Nordic program.

Dan Cnossen and Kendall Gretsch made history in the biathlon sprint by becoming the first Americans to win biathlon gold in Paralympic or Olympic Winter Games history. On top of their performances in the biathlon sprint, Cnossen medaled in every cross-country and biathlon event he entered en route to winning one gold, four silver and one bronze medals, while Gretsch also claimed gold in the 12-kilometer cross-country competition.

Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota), who shot clean in the individual biathlon in PyeongChang, returns to the national team after recording three top-10 finishes at the Paralympic Winter games.

Seven additional Paralympians were named to the development team: Sean Halsted (Spokane, Washington), Grace Miller (Palmer, Alaska), Bryan Price (Leeton, Missouri), Ruslan Reiter (Manchester, Maine), Joy Rondeau (Granby, Colorado), Mia Zutter (Sun Prairie, Wisconsin) and Jeremy Wagner (Nānākuli, Hawaii).

The team features four retired U.S. military members in Cnossen (Navy), Halsted (Air Force), Price (Army) and Wagner (Army).

The U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing program is coming off a record-breaking performance in PyeongChang. Improving from three medals won in Sochi, Team USA took home an unprecedented 16 medals, including six gold, seven silver and three bronze. Of the 16, nine were secured in cross-country races and seven were in biathlon events.

2018-19 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Teams

*Denotes U.S. Paralympian in Nordic skiing

# Denotes retired U.S. Military

A Team

*#Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kan./Navy) – sitting

*Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.) – sitting

*Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kent.) – sitting

B Team

*Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minn.) – sitting

Development Team

*#Sean Halsted (Spokane, Wash./Air Force) – sitting

*Grace Miller (Palmer, Alaska) – standing

*#Bryan Price (Leeton, Mo./Army) – sitting

*Ruslan Reiter (Manchester, Maine) – standing

*Joy Rondeau (Granby, Colo.) – sitting

*#Jeremy Wagner (Nānākuli, Hawaii/Army) – sitting

*Mia Zutter (Sun Prairie, Wis.) – visually impaired

Eileen Carey Promoted to U.S. Para-Nordic Director

After the departure of U.S. Para-Nordic High Performance Director John Farra for Para-Triathlon, the organization has promoted Head Coach Eileen Carey to the director position. Carey was our 2018 Coach of the Year, and oversaw a team that won a whopping 16 medals at the 2018 Paralympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. “I’m thrilled to be taking on this new level of responsibility to help further develop and strengthen the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing program,” Carey said in a U.S. Paralympics press release. “I’m grateful to have worked with John Farra over the past four years to bring the program to the level it is at today, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen the program as we begin preparing for the upcoming season and Beijing 2022.” Carey served as head coach for four years. Previously, she coordinated the adaptive sport programs for the New England Nordic Ski Association and…

Brian McKeever to Lead Canadian Paralympic Team in Opening Ceremony

(Press release) McKeever, a 13-time medallist is competing in his fifth Paralympic Games, will ski in PyeongChang with guides Graham Nishikawa and Russell Kennedy Opening Ceremony is March 9 at 8 p.m. local time / 6 a.m. ET airing live on CBC/Radio-Canada across Canada PYEONGCHANG (March 8, 2018) – Brian McKeever (Canmore, AB) will lead the Canadian Paralympic Team into the Opening Ceremony as flag bearer at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced today. “Brian is one of those athletes we want all of Canada to know who he is and what he has been able to accomplish as a Canadian Paralympian,” said Todd Nicholson, Chef de Mission for the Canadian Paralympic Team in PyeongChang. “He has been a fantastic ambassador for Canadian sport on the global stage for so long and continues to show that our Paralympic athletes from Canada are some of the best…

CCC Nominates 14 to PyeongChang Paralympic Team

(Press release) CANMORE, Alta. (February 12, 2018) – Canada is planning to send a high-powered group of cross-country skiers and biathletes to the start line in PyeongChang with a focus on contributing to the nation’s medal count at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada announced on Monday. A total of 14 of the nation’s best Para-Nordic skiers and biathletes, 10 men and four women, have been nominated for selection to don the maple leaf race suit next month in PyeongChang. The 12 athletes and two guides will include a group of Paralympic, World Championship and World Cup medal winners led by 13-time Paralympic medallist Brian McKeever (Canmore, Alta.) along with his guides Graham Nishikawa (Whitehorse, YK), and Russell Kennedy (Canmore, Alta.). Kennedy is also representing Canada at the Olympics this week for the first time in his career. Two other Paralympic medallists, Chris Klebl (Canmore,…

Oberried IPC World Cup Recap

From Jan. 20-28, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) held its second series of World Cup races in Obberied, Germany. Three biathlon competitions, as well as three cross-country competitions, were featured over the eight-day period for both men and women. Races kicked off on Saturday, Jan. 20 with a women’s and men’s middle-distance cross-country event. American Oksana Masters topped the results in the women’s sitting field, completing the 5-kilometer course in a time of 17:59.6 for the win. Finishing in second place was Russian neutral athlete, Mariia Iovleva with a time of 19:35.6. Norway’s Birgit Skarstein claimed the third and final podium spot with a time of 19:40.8. Also for U.S. Paralympics Nordic, Kendall Gretsch, a 27-year-0ld two-time world champion triathlete new to cross-country, finished sixth in a time of 19:49.0. In the women’s 7.5 k standing race, Iuliia Batenkova of Ukraine emerged the victor after covering the course in a time of…

2018 U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing Team Announced 

(Press release) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced today the 13 athletes and two guides named to the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing Team. The team, which boasts eight Paralympians, will compete in biathlon and cross-country skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in South Korea from March 9-18. “We are thrilled about the 15 athletes selected to represent Team USA at the Paralympic Winter Games,” said John Farra, director of U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing. “Led by our experienced athletes with proven success, we’re excited about the strong delegation we are bringing to PyeongChang and look forward to fighting for podium results in each competition.” The team is headlined by three-time Paralympic medalist Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky). Masters has been a trailblazer in the sport since 2013, making history at Sochi 2014 when she won silver and bronze to become…

IPC Recap: Masters Earns Triple Biathlon Crown at IPC Opener in Canmore

On Sept. 6, 2017, the  International Paralympic Committee (IPC) governing board decided to maintain the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee. Russian athletes are allowed to compete as neutral athletes and are designated accordingly in this recap of the IPC World Cup from Dec. 9-17 in Canmore, Alberta. *** IPC World Cup: Canmore, Alberta (Cross-country) Day 1: Cross-country The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) season kicked off Saturday, Dec. 9 in Canmore, Alberta with a men’s and women’s cross-country sprint event. Canada’s Emily Young reached the podium In the women’s standing event, crossing third in a time of 3:37.63. Ahead of her was Neutral athlete Ekaterina Rumyantseva, finishing first in a time of 3:22.16 and neutral athlete Anna Milenina, who crossed second in a time of 3:34.36. Two other Canadians competed in the final and finished just shy of the podium, with Natalie Wilkie crossing fourth in a time of 3:38.22…

IPC World Cup Finals: 2 Wins for Masters, 1 for Adicoff; Canada’s Young, Arendz Place 2nd

The International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) fifth and final week of World Cup racing began last Saturday, March 18, and lasted through Wednesday, March 22 in Sapporo, Japan. Complete series recap and results below. *** Day 1 After ending last season undefeated in every IPC World Cup cross-country race she entered, Oksana Masters of U.S. Paralympics Nordic kept the streak going strong last Saturday, taking first in the women’s 5-kilometer sitting race in Sapporo. Masters completed the course in 15:32.0, besting both Germany’s Andrea Eskau in second and Anja Wicker in third. Eskau clocked in at 15:45.3, while her teammate Wicker finished in 17:11.7. In the men’s 7.5 k sitting race, Ukrainian Maksym Yarovyi took the win in 20:42.9. South Korea’s Eui Hyun Sin claimed second, clocking in 21:04.4, while third went to Germany’s Martin Fleig in 21:05.6. Canada’s Chris Klebl was the top North American in the men’s sitting race, coming in fifth in 21:32.2. American Andy…

Win No. 2 for Adicoff; Masters Remains Undefeated; First Win for Cameron

After a rest day following two days of racing, the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) fourth weekend of World Cup racing continued Monday, March 13 in PyeongChang, South Korea, with the men’s and women’s cross-country sprint races. Complete recap and results below.  *** Day 3 Six for six. That’s how many IPC cross-country races American Oksana Masters has entered and it’s also how many she’s won. After ending last season undefeated in cross-country races, Masters has continued her winning streak into the 2016/2017 season, taking her sixth cross-country title on Monday in the women’s sitting sprint. Masters finished first in a time of 3:26.85, besting German Andrea Eskau’s second place time of 3:40.34. Belarus’s Lidziya Hrafeyeva took third in a time of 3:45.92. Two more Americans competed in Monday’s sitting sprint, Kendall Gretsch, who made it to the finals and crossed fifth in a time of 3:56.12 and Joy Rondeau, who finished 11th in a…

Two Golds for U.S. in PyeongChang: First for Adicoff, Fifth in a Row for Masters

The International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) fourth weekend of World Cup racing kicked off Friday, March 10 in PyeongChang, South Korea, with men’s and women’s biathlon sprints. Canadian Mark Arendz and American Oksana Masters reached the podium in second and third, respectively. Complete race recap and results below. *** Day 1 In the women’s sitting biathlon 6-kilometer sprint, American Oksana Masters reached the podium in third in a time of 24:43.1 after two misses (1+1). Two Germans placed ahead of her, with Anja Wicker taking the win after shooting clean and completing the course in a time of 24:19.6. Earning second place was Wicker’s teammate, Andrea Eskau clocking in at 24:19.8 after one missed shot (1+0). American Joy Rondeau finished fourth in a time of 30:23.2 with two misses (2+2). The men’s sitting 7.5 k biathlon sprint went to Germany’s Martin Fleig, who missed one shot (0+1) and completed the course in a time of 24:25.0….