The US Paralympics, a division of the US Olympic Committee (USOC), announced the 2011 US team that will be competing in the fourth Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Nov. 12-20.
Team USA comprises 176 athletes. They include 59 Paralympians, many of whom were medalists at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
There are several athletes to follow during these games. Oz Sanchez, Allison Jones, Karissa Whitsell and Anthony Zahn will compete in the cycling competition. Wheelchair basketball players Sarah Castle, Mary Alison Milford, Becca Murray, Alana Nichols and Natalie Schneider are members of the women’s gold medal team from the 2008 Paralympic Games. Myles Porter is attempting to become the first judo athlete to qualify for both the Paralympic and Olympic Games.
The US team also includes 17 military and veteran athletes. Carlos Leon, Scott Winkler, and Scot Severn are members of the 2008 Paralympic team. Dan Regan, Ed O’Neil and James Stuck are hoping to help Team USA qualify for the 2012 London games in men’s sitting volleyball.
“The Parapan American Games provide a unique opportunity for US athletes to join together and compete as Team USA,” Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics USOC, stated in a press release. “From athletes who will be representing Team USA for the first time to experienced veterans, this year’s Parapan Am roster showcases a special blend of Team USA’s finest athletes, and I’m confident this group will make us proud.”
The top performances will be recognized in the International Paralympic Committee’s world ranking, which may impact slot allocation for the 2012 Paralympic Games.