The U.S. is hosting world championships this year -- specifically, Cable, Wis., where the American Birkebeiner starts annually, is gearing up to be the site of the 2015 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships from Jan. 22-Feb. 1.
While the three medals U.S. Paralympics Nordic won in Sochi are still fresh, the team's moving on and doing everything it can with the money it has to be a leading force in Paralympic cross-country skiing and biathlon. "Medals are good, but they’re not critical," director John Farra explains. "I think they’re going to be more critical in Pyeongchang.”
Last week, the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Team toyed with a new kind of training at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center: technique on a rollerski treadmill using live-video feedback. Oksana Masters was nervous before, but ramped it up to 10 mph at a 10-percent incline before the workout was over.
James Upham had a good run in Sochi: his Paralympic skiers won three medals - the first by U.S. women in 20 years - and before that at the Olympics Susan Dunklee, a college skier he had recruited to be a biathlete, turned in the best performance ever by a U.S. woman. Now he's returning to his home of Maine as an assistant coach at Bates College.
Twenty-two years ago, Colette Bourgonje was a grade-school teacher with a ticket to the Albertville Paralympics. But the school wasn’t about to let her take off for her first Paralympics. She went anyway and began an unprecedented streak of competing at seven Winter Paralympics -- 10 Paralympics in all.
The U.S. Paralympic Nordic skiing team closed out the 2014 Paralympics on a high on Sunday as Oksana Masters won bronze in the women’s 5 k sit ski cross-country race at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Center. “I am in complete shock and amazement,” says Masters, the most successful U.S. Paralympic cross-country female.
Chris Klebl earned his first Paralympic medal in impressive fashion, winning gold in Sunday's cross-country 10 k sit-ski race on the last day of the Sochi Games. Brian McKeever took his third gold of the week, 10th total, the most of any winter athlete in Paralympic history.
Tatyana McFadden rose to the occasion yet again to notch the second U.S. silver medal in cross-country skiing at the Sochi Paralympics, becoming the second woman to do so in the last 20 years. Just 0.1 seconds back from gold, the Russian-born McFadden medaled in front of both her adoptive and birth mothers.
Brian McKeever and Graham Nishikawa came back from all odds after McKeever went down in Wednesday's sprint, then surged ahead for gold -- his first with Nishikawa alone, second of the Sochi Paralympics, and ninth total. "That was stressful,” McKeever told Cross Country Canada. “Once the cuss words were out, the only thing you can do is get back up and race."
Canada’s Mark Arendz battled through brutal race conditions on Tuesday to capture bronze in the men’s 12.5-kilometre standing at the Sochi Paralympics, just days after taking silver in his first competition of the Games. In doing so, Arendz, 24, became the first Canadian to win two Paralympic biathlon medals.
Canadian Brian McKeever skied to his eighth gold medal and first of the 2014 Winter Paralympics on Monday, winning the visually impaired 20 k classic with the help of two guides, Erik Carleton and Graham Nishikawa -- a first for the 34-year-old Paralympic champion.
Oksana Masters won silver in the women’s 12 kilometer cross country race in the second day of competition at the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi. The medal ends a 20 year medal drought for U.S. women’s paralympic cross country skiing. Masters reacted her medal saying, “I really have to thank my training from rowing because it prepared me well for skiing; I am so happy right now.”
Mark Arendz fired his name into the history books on Saturday as the first Canadian ever to win a silver medal in biathlon at the Paralympic Winter Games.
The 2014 Winter Paralympics officially kick off Friday with the Opening Ceremony in Sochi, Russia, and the Canadian Para-Nordic team is raring to be one of the most dominant teams at the Games, shooting for third in the overall medal count.
At the 2014 Winter Paralympics from March 7 to 16 in Sochi, Russia, nordic skiing and biathlon will account for more that half of the available medals. How will the United States fare in the medal chase? The team's high-performance director, John Farra weighs in.
U.S. Paralympics recently nominated 16 Nordic skiing athletes and two guides to its 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team to compete in biathlon and cross-country skiing at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, March 7-16.
Rounding Soldier Hollow’s 2.5-kilometer sit-ski course on Tuesday, Oksana Masters and Lt. Dan Cnossen muscled through methodically, powerfully. Even with two victories apiece behind them from earlier in the week at U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Nationals, these two had business to tend to.
One of the most successful men on the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Team last season, Lt. Dan Cnossen cut right to the chase when asked about his training this summer and fall. “We’re going to find out real quick when I go up against the Russians,” Cnossen says. So far, he's placed ninth and 11th at the IPC World Cup in Canmore.
With less than a year of nordic experience, Tatyana McFadden -- a three-time Summer Paralympian with 10 Paralympic medals and a marathon Grand Slam to her name -- has her heart set on Sochi. "I have to just be relaxed and go with the transitions," she says. "When it comes time for me to put my skis on the snow, I have to remember everything I've learned ... and ski as fast as I can and hopefully make people proud.”