The U.S. Paralympics announced 16 Nordic skiing athletes and two guides have been nominated to the 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. Nominations are the last step before the USOC gives final approval for who goes to Sochi.
The nominations include three athletes from Colorado, Monica Bascio of Evergreen, Beth Requist of Winter Park and Kevin Burton of Boulder. Bascio boasts the most Winter Games experience, with Sochi marking her third Winter Games and fourth Games overall. Having just recently retired from cycling, Bascio is one of three athletes who medaled at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Kevin Burton is a U.S. Navy veteran who competes in the visually impaired classification. Kevin recently won 2nd place in the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup 15K, contribution to his qualification for the Paralympics.
For Sochi 2014, Team USA’s Nordic roster will nearly triple in size with 12 men, four women and two guides for visually impaired athletes. Three athletes return from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, including Andy Soule who won the first-ever U.S. medal in the Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games in the biathlon with his bronze in the men’s 2.4-kilometer race. Soule will be joined by his 2010 teammates Sean Halsted and Monica Bascio .
More than half of the athletes nominated to the men’s team are military veterans: Omar Bermejo (Marine), Kevin Burton (Navy) Travis Dodson (Marine), Sean Halsted (Air Force), Bryan Price (Army) Andy Soule (Army/San Antonio, Texas) and Jeremy Wagner (Army Reserves), and Lieutenant Commander Dan Cnossen (Navy, active duty)
U.S. Paralympic Team nominees for alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, sled hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling will be finalized by the USOC by Feb. 21. Selection procedures and dates can be found at the official Team USA Paralympics web site.