US Paralympic curler Patrick McDonald competes in Vancouver. Photo Getty Images.
US Paralympic Curling Team
U.S. wheelchair curlers nominated for 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team
Led by 2010 Paralympian Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.), USA's wheelchair curling athletes have been nominated to the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team to compete in Sochi, Russia, March 7-16. The nominations are subject to approval of the United States Olympic Committee.
McDonald and his team of David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.), Jimmy Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.), Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.), and Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.) are seeking USA's first-ever Paralympic medal in wheelchair curling. The team is coached by Steve Brown (Madison, Wis.) and Rusty Schieber (Portage, Wis.) and is assisted by Marc Deperno (New Hartford, N.Y.), team leader.
"The USA Curling wheelchair team program has come a long way since the inception of the international championships in 2002, guided by the expertise of National Coach Steve Brown," said Rick Patzke, USA Curling chief operating officer. "The athletes have put their hearts and souls into training and competition, and had a medal within their grasp at the 2010 Paralympics. Having come so close before has surely increased their hunger for success in Sochi, and we and all of America will be firmly behind them as they chase their dreams in 2014."
Team USA finished fourth at last year's world wheelchair event in Sochi, Russia, and is currently ranked sixth in the world. Wheelchair curling was added as a Paralympic medal sport in 2006. This will be the third straight Games appearance for Joseph, 51, and second for McDonald, 46. Greely, 42, was a member of the bronze-medal winning sitting volleyball team at the 2004 Paralympic Summer Games in Athens, Greece. This will be the first Games for both Palmer, 53, and Lino, 29.
"Congratulations to these five outstanding athletes for their nomination to the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team," said U.S. Chef de Mission Julie O'Neill, team leader for Paralympic sport performance at the USOC. "I have no doubt that when Patrick, David, Jimmy, Penny and Meghan compete in the red, white and blue on the world's biggest stage this March, in Sochi, Russia, they will make all of us proud. I look forward to supporting them as they compete for our country's first Paralympic medal in wheelchair curling."
Canada has won gold at the past two Paralympic Winter Games. The U.S. begins round robin play on March 8 with Canada, China, Finland, Great Britain, Korea, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, and Sweden. The top four teams after the conclusion of the round robin will move on to the semifinals.
NBC and NBC Sports Network will combine to air 50 hours of television coverage for March's Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, starting on March 7 with the Opening Ceremony. It will be followed by daily coverage of all five Paralympic sports in the Sochi program, before the Games' Closing Ceremony is broadcast on March 16. In addition to the unprecedented U.S. television coverage, the USOC and six sponsors will provide live online coverage at TeamUSA.org.
The 2014 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team is the second team to be nominated to the USOC for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. On Dec. 11, USA Hockey nominated 17 players to the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team.
U.S. Paralympic Team nominees for alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, sled hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling will be finalized by the USOC no later than Feb. 21, 2014, the deadline to submit Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games delegation rosters to the International Paralympic Committee. Selection procedures and dates can be found at TeamUSA.org/ParalympicGames/.
Originally published by US Paralympics. All rights reserved.