COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team that will compete in the upcoming London 2012 Paralympic Games, Aug. 29-Sept. 9. The 227-member team, which includes six guides for visually impaired athletes, is comprised of 133 men and 94 women.
“When the 2012 London Olympic Games come to a close on Sunday, the eyes of the world will turn to the Paralympic Games and the more than 4,000 athletes competing. Each of the 227 Americans named to the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team today are ready to captivate the world, on and off the field of play, just as our Olympians have,” USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun said. “Our Paralympians embody what it means to be an American. They will compete with the pride and honor that is inherent in representing the United States of America, inspiring Americans young and old with their stories of triumph.”
American athletes will compete in 19 sports contested throughout the 11 days of competition. The sports are archery, boccia, cycling, equestrian, goalball, judo, powerlifting, rowing, sailing, shooting, sitting volleyball, soccer seven-a-side, swimming, table tennis, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair tennis. At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Team USA claimed a total of 99 medals, finishing third overall.
Among the members of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team are 19 athletes who won multiple medals at the last Games including swimmer Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.), who co-led the U.S. Paralympic Team with six medals in Beijing, and wheelchair racer Jessica Galli (Hillsborough Township, N.J.), who captured five medals. Long claimed four of her career seven gold medals in 2008 while Galli claimed the women’s 400-meter (T53) title.
The team also includes 20 U.S. military veterans and active duty service members, some of whom were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Navy Lieutenant Bradley Snyder, who lost his vision in September 2011 while serving in Afghanistan, is among the American athletes with military ties. Snyder is slated to compete in swimming on the one year anniversary of his injury.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games will be the largest edition of the Games yet, with an estimated 4,200 participating athletes, up from the 3,951 who competed in Beijing. Athletes from 165 countries will compete in London, which is representation from 19 more nations than in Beijing.
The 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team roster may still be adjusted due to injury, illness or exceptional circumstances up to the technical meetings for each sport. For the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team roster by sport, click here or click here for a roster by state (athlete's recognized hometown).
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2012 U.S. Paralympic Team Notes
Forty-two states and Washington D.C. have representatives on the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team. California has the most representation with 23 athletes followed by Colorado with 13.
Swimmer Colleen Young (St. Louis, Mo.), who turned 14 in June, is the youngest member of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team. The oldest member of the team is 57-year-old fencer Gary Van Der Wege (Kyle, Texas) but archer Jerry Shields (Jacksonville, Fla.) and sailor Jean-Paul Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) are also 57.
In the track and field competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the United States will be represented by 58 athletes, including four guide athletes, making it the largest sport delegation for Team USA.
Three athletes set world records at the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Trials – Track and Field in Indianapolis en route to spots on the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team. Raymond Martin (Jersey City, N.J.) set the 30.18 world mark in the men’s 200m (T52) while Galli set a new world mark in the women’s 200m (T53) with a time of 28.93. In the women’s shot put (F56), Angela Madsen (Long Beach, Calif.), a former Paralympic rower and Marine Corps veteran, threw a 9.30m. Last month, Blake Leeper (Kingston, Tenn.) tied the world record in the men’s 100m (T43) while competing in Canada.
Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.), a wheelchair racer who won four medals at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, is joined on the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team by her sister younger Hannah, who is making her Games debut. It is the first time sisters have raced against each other for Team USA.
At the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials, a total of 99 American, 37 Pan American and 12 world records were set at the Bismarck State College Aquatic and Wellness Center; Long set four of the world records achieved in Bismarck.
After representing the U.S. in table tennis at the 1984 Stoke Mandeville Paralympic Games, both Pamela Fontaine (North Brunswick, N.J.) and Tara Profitt (Berlin, Conn.) retired from the sport. After being apart for about 20 years, the team reunited in December 2008, and will return to the Paralympic Games in London.
Rrower Dorian Weber (Brighton, Mass.) will have a homecoming of sorts when he makes his debut at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Born in Manhasset, N.Y., he grew up an hour outside of London in Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom, but now lives in Massachusetts.
Aimee Mullins will serve as the Chef de Mission for the U.S. Paralympic Team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. President of the Women's Sports Foundation from 2007-08 and a current trustee for the organization, Mullins made a groundbreaking achievement at Georgetown University where she competed as the first-ever amputee on an NCAA Division I track team. A member of the 1996 U.S. Paralympic Team, she set world records in the 100 meters, 200m and long jump during her career.
For more information, please contact Jamie Blanchard, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-866-2068 or email@example.com.