The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced the nominees to the 2013-2014 U.S. Paralympics Snowboard National Team, the first national team in the sport. In May 2012, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that snowboard cross will be included in the alpine skiing program at the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, to be held March 7-16.
The A Team nominees are Marc Dervaes, (SB-UL), West Chester, Pennsylvania; Heidi Jo Duce, (SB-LL, Ouray, Colorado; Keith Gable, (SB-LL), Ogden, Utah; Amy Purdy, (SB-LL), Las Vegas, Nevada; Mike Shea, (SB-LL), Castaic, California; and Evan Strong, (SB-LL), Nevada City, California.
The B Team nominees are Christina Albert, (SB-LL), Denver, Colorado; Tyler Burdick, (SB-LL), Salt Lake City, Utah; Joseph Chandler, (SB-UL), Salt Lake City, Utah; Lucas Grossi, (SB-LL), Billings, Montana; and Nicole Roundy, (SB-LL), Bountiful, Utah.
The SB-LL classification designates snowboard athletes with a physical impairment affecting one or both legs, and SB-UL designates snowboard athletes with a physical impairment affecting one or both arms. Both classifications require the athletes to compete while standing, but only SB-LL athletes are permitted to use a prosthesis or orthosis when racing.
“As we look toward the start of the Paralympic Winter Games in ten months, the nomination of these athletes to the inaugural U.S. Paralympics Snowboard National Team marks a significant step for the program and the sport,” said Kevin Jardine, USOC high performance director for Paralympic alpine skiing and snowboarding, in a USOC press release.
National team nominations will be confirmed by July 1, 2013.