10 U.S. team athletes to watch at the Paralympic Winter Games in 100 days
Ravi Drugan – Alpine Skiing
Ravi Drugan poses at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center on March 9, 2020 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Now in his third year with the nine-member national team, Drugan is an X Games bronze medalist who started playing the sport in 2008, four years after being hit by a train and losing his legs. The Oregon native, who competes in the seated category, is currently ranked in the top 10 in the world in men’s slalom.
Andrew Kurka – Alpine Skiing
Andrew Kurka poses on the podium after the Super-G competition at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games on March 11, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
The newly-signed Alaskan native will be 30 by the time of the Beijing Games, and he is expected to be one of the podium favorites at his third Paralympic Games. In his 12 seasons with the national team, the Alaska native has two Paralympic medals and four world championship medals to his name, including a 2018 Paralympic downhill gold medal after having to be absent. in 2014 due to a back injury.
Lera Doederlein – Nordic Skiing
Lera Doederlein poses for a photo on March 3, 2021.
It’s only been three years since Doederlein was introduced to her sport, and she has already been named to the national development team. The Southern Californian was encouraged to play the sport by 10-time Paralympic medalist Oksana Masters after starting out as a sledge hockey player following her leg amputation at age 14.
Dan Cnossen – Nordic Skiing
Dan Cnossen competes in the 7.5 kilometer seated cross country event at the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games on March 17, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
The former Kansas Navy SEAL is already a two-time Paralympian and six-time Paralympic medalist, having won those six medals at PyeongChang 2018. In South Korea, he and his teammate Kendall Grestch also became the first Americans to win gold in biathlon at all Olympic or Paralympic Games. Cnossen, who has been recognized for her military service by figures like former First Lady Michelle Obama, should be highlighted on and off the snow in Beijing for her persistence.
Malik Jones – Sledge Hockey
Malik Jones faces Canada in the 2021 Border Series on October 29, 2021 in St. Louis.
The 19-year-old forward from Colorado is one of the newest members of the US sledge hockey team, which hopes to win a gold medal in Beijing as the reigning three-time Paralympic champion. The double amputee once played in the spotlight as a teenager as a member of the Colorado Avalanche sledge hockey team that played at Coors Field in 2016 after the NHL Stadium Series at the venue.
Brody Roybal – Sledge Hockey
Brody Roybal poses during a Team USA content shoot in West Hollywood, California.
The two-time Paralympic gold medalist might as well change his last name to Rumble, as the former high school wrestler has become known around the world as one of the most impactful and aggressive strikers in the sport. At just 23, the Chicago native has been playing at the Paralympic Games since the age of 15 and was named MVP of the 2018 Paralympic Games and, most recently, the 2021 World Championships, where he led the US team to a record fifth world title with seven goals and four assists.
Zach Miller – Snowboard
Zach Miller poses during a Team USA content shoot in West Hollywood, California.
Now coached by Amy Purdy’s husband Daniel Gale, Miller was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby and started snowboarding at the age of 6. In 2018, the Colorado native reached new heights by winning eight World Cup medals at this age. out of 21. His goal for Beijing in the LL2 category is simple: to get on the podium.
Keith Gabel – Snowboard
Keith Gabel celebrates after competing in the banked slalom snowboard event at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games on March 16, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
The Utah native has won a medal at both Paralympics he competed in, including the sport’s debut at the Games in 2014. Although he hasn’t competed often in the past two years due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, he will be a favorite for gold in Beijing, as he seeks to add to the silver and bronze already in his collection.
Oyuna Uranchimeg – Wheelchair Curling
Oyuna Uranchimeg poses during a Team USA content shoot in West Hollywood, California.
Born in Mongolia and now living in Minnesota, Uranchimeg’s life changed after a car crash and after immigrating to the United States. .
Steve Emt – Wheelchair Curling
Steve Emt competes in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games on March 13, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
Although he did not discover wheelchair curling until after the age of 40, Emt quickly progressed as a part of the National and United States team for the PyeongChang 2018 Games. With several world championship appearances under his belt and as the team’s vice-captain, he’s trying to turn the ship around after a last place in PyeongChang. The Connecticut native has made strides, joining Uranchimeg to help the United States finish fourth at the recent world championships.