Jimmy Joseph, pictured at the 2013 World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia, hopes to make his third U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team in 2014. The sport was added to the Games in 2006.
The United States has never medaled in wheelchair curling at the Paralympic Winter Games, but that all could change at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Russia.
Patrick McDonald, who was injured while serving with the U.S. Army in Korea, became the skip for Team USA in 2012.
Team USA finished fourth at the World Wheelchair Curling Federation’s 2013 World Wheelchair Championship after a last-rock loss to China in the bronze-medal game at the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi, Russia.
"We came and we played, we trained really hard,” said Patrick McDonald, Team USA's skip. “After the fourth end break they turned up the heat. They made it really difficult. The best team won." The U.S. fell to China's Haitao Wang, 6-5, to finish with an 8-4 record.
"I'm very proud of our team and very proud of how we played,” Penny Greely said. “We've come a long way in two years. Next year we're only going to be stronger. We are going for gold in the Paralympics,"
Team USA holds one medal from the world championships, a bronze in 2008.
McDonald (Madison, Wis.) and teammates David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.), Jimmy Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.), Greely (Green Bay, Wis.), and Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.) have mathematically qualified the U.S. for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
The U.S. finished eighth of eight teams with a 2-7 record at the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games – where wheelchair curling made its debut. Team USA improved to fourth at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. In the bronze-medal match, the Americans lost 7-5 to Sweden.
Joseph was part of both the 2006 and 2010 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Teams. McDonald, the only other member of the current team with Paralympic experience, represented Team USA in Vancouver.
Wheelchair curling is open to male and female athletes who have a physical disability in the lower half of their body, including spinal-cord injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and double-leg amputation. Each five-member team at the Paralympic Winter Games must have one male and one female representative.
The sport is now practiced in 24 different countries with 10 countries qualifying to compete in Sochi next March.
- While competing for their nation, four members of the five athlete 2012-13 USA Curling Wheelchair Curling National Team roster are also raising children. David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.) has three children, while Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.) has one daughter and one son. Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.) has one son. Jimmy Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.) has one daughter.
- Two members of the five athlete 2012-13 USA Curling Wheelchair Curling National Team roster represent the Cape Cod Curling Club, a Paralympic Sport Club as recognized by the U.S. Paralympics division of the United States Olympic Committee. David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.) competed with Team USA at the 2012 and 2013 World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Championship. Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.) made her debut in 2013.
- Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.) is a U.S. Army veteran. While serving in Korea in 1991, the armored personnel carrier he was riding in rolled on the way back from patrol, injuring his spinal cord. McDonald’s grandfather lost his leg while serving in World War II.
- The USA Curling Wheelchair Curling Player Selection Committee, which will determine the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Curling roster based on selection procedures, is comprised of five members.
- Steve Brown, USA Curling National Wheelchair Curling Team Development Coach
- Marc DePerno , USA Curling National Wheelchair Curling Program Director of Outreach and Development
- Wally Henry, Coach, 2010 U.S. Women's Olympic Curling Team
- Tracy Sachtjen, 2010 U.S. Olympic Curling Team member, six-time National Champion
- Russell Schieber, USA Curling National Wheelchair Team Assistant Development Coach
Athletes to Watch
Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.)
Penny Greely, a lead out of the Green Bay Curling Club, started curling in 2010 after a successful career in sitting volleyball. She has been a fixture on the USA Curling Wheelchair Curling National Team since 2011, when she made her debut at the World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Curling Championships. Team USA finished seventh in 2011, fifth in 2012 and fourth in 2013. Greely is a case worker with Brown County in Wisconsin. She is married with one son. She also enjoys fishing, golfing and swimming.
Jimmy Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.)
Jimmy Joseph, who is in the second position for the USA Curling Wheelchair Curling National Team, is one of the most experienced wheelchair curlers in the U. S. Curling since 2003, Joseph competed at the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, where Team USA was eighth, and the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games, where Team USA placed fourth. He has competed at seven World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Championships, highlighted by a bronze-medal appearance in 2008. Joseph is a member of the Utica Curling Club. He is married with a daughter.
Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.)
At 28, Meghan Lino is the youngest member of the USA Curling Wheelchair Curling National Team, which took fourth at the 2013 World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Curling Championships. An alternate with Team USA, Lino started curling in 2009 when a friend brought her to a fundraising event at the Cape Cod Curling Club. Lino now has a wheelchair curling tattoo. In addition to curling, she enjoys cycling, fishing, kayaking and swimming. Lino is an avid fan of World Wrestling Entertainment and The Food Network.
Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.)
Patrick McDonald, a U.S. Army veteran, lost the use of his legs in 1991 when the armored personnel carrier he was riding in rolled on the way back from patrol in Korea. A life-long athlete, he turned to sport for rehabilitation. McDonald began curling in 2007. He competed at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, where Team USA was fourth, and three World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Championships. McDonald became the Team USA skip in 2012. McDonald also enjoys golf and shooting. He is involved in breast cancer awareness and literacy causes. He and his wife, Carrie, have one daughter, Andie, and one son, Kaelen.
David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.)
David Palmer is a vice skip for Team USA. In 2012, the Cape Cod Curling Club member made his debut at the World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Curling Championships, where the United States finished fifth. He was a part of the fourth-place finish at 2013 worlds. Palmer was introduced to curling in 2009 when he attended a fundraiser for a friend. Married with three children, Palmer is employed by Mashpee Public Schools.
The World Wheelchair Curling Federation will allocate 10 qualification spots in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games competition by June 1, 2013. The United States mathematically secured a qualification spot in the wheelchair curling competition following the 2013 World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Curling Championships, Feb. 16-23, in Sochi, Russia. With a fourth-place finish at the world championships, Team USA achieved a fourth-place standing in the World Curling Federation wheelchair curling qualification points list.
The top nine (9) ranked countries on the WCF wheelchair curling qualification points list, after the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship, qualify for the wheelchair curling competition of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Rankings on the WCF wheelchair curling qualification points list were calculated based on the number of points each country attains from its performance during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Curling Federation World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
The host country of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, automatically qualifies for the competition. Because Russia is ranked in the top nine, the 10th-ranked team receives a qualification slot.
For complete qualification criteria, click here.
The United States will select a mixed team of five athletes, comprised of at least one (1) male and one (1) female, based on the 2014 Paralympic Curling Pre-Trials Selection Event, March 16-18, 2012, in Madison, Wis., and the 2012-13 National Team Trials Oct. 18-21, 2012, in Madison.
Prior to Dec. 9, 2013, the USA Curling Wheelchair Curling Player Selection Committee will meet and nominate five (5) athletes to the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team. The nomination will be formally submitted to the United States Olympic Committee on Dec. 9, 2013. The entire 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team will be named no later than Feb. 21, 2014, the deadline to submit delegation rosters to the International Paralympic Committee.
The five (5) athletes who are on the 2012-13 National Team at the time of nomination will be the top candidates for consideration by the Player Selection Committee to be nominated to the 2014 Paralympic Team. However, the Player Selection Committee can nominate an athlete not on the national team if the committee determines that another athlete best allows for competitive success at the 2014 Paralympic Games.
At the time of selection events, an athlete must be a national of the United States with a valid U.S. Passport that will not expire in the six months following the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, and meet the minimum standards of the International Paralympic Committee, as the international governing body for the Paralympic Winter Games, and the World Curling Federation, the international federation for wheelchair curling.
For complete selection procedures, click here.
USA Curling is the National Governing Body for wheelchair curling. For media inquiries for USA Curling athletes and staff, please contact Terry Kolesar.
Director of Communications
715-344-1199 ext. 202
Revised March 7, 2013