2022 Paralympic Winter Games: Athletes, Stars to watch at the Beijing Winter Paralympics
The 2022 Paralympic Winter Games begin on Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 13 in Beijing, China. The competition will feature approximately 564 athletes battling it out across a total of 78 medal events (39 for men, 35 for women, and 4 mixed events). See below for just a few of the talented U.S. stars to watch at the Beijing Winter Paralympics. Click here for the daily TV schedule.
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U.S. Stars to watch at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games
Oksana Masters (Louisville, KY) - Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon: Masters, a five-time Paralympian and 10-time Paralympic medalist is the most decorated athlete on the U.S. roster. She returns to Beijing to compete in cross-country skiing and biathlon. For Masters, it’s been just six months since she competed at the Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, taking home road cycling gold medals in time trial and road race.
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Laurie Stephens (Wenham, MA) - Alpine Skiing: Stephens is the second most decorated winter sport athlete on the team with seven Paralympic medals in alpine skiing: two golds, two silvers, and three bronzes. Beijing marks the fifth Paralympic appearance for the Massachusetts native.
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Mike Schultz (St. Cloud, MN) - Snowboarding: Schultz made his Paralympic debut in 2018 where he won the gold medal in snowboard cross and the silver in banked slalom. The Minnesota native is also a self-taught engineer. In July 2010, he founded his own prosthetics company (BioDapt) and he has since outfitted over 100 people with prosthetics (including some of his competitors).
Brittani Coury (Durango, CO) - Snowboarding: Brittani Coury will be making her second Paralympic appearance in Beijing. She previously won a Paralympic silver medal in banked slalom back in 2018. Coury, who became the first member of her family to receive a Bachelor’s degree when she graduated from nursing school in 2020, volunteered to help with the COVID-19 wards at the University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Josh Pauls (Greenbrook, NJ) - Sled Hockey: Josh Pauls is a three-time Paralympic gold medalist (2010, 2014, 2018) and five-time world champion (2021, 2019, 2015, 2012, 2009). He served as captain for the gold medal-winning 2018 Paralympic and 2019 world championship teams and helped lead the team to a world title win against Canada at the 2021 Para World Ice Hockey Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Andrew Kurka (Palmer, AK) - Alpine Skiing: Beijing marks the second competitive Paralympic appearance for two-time Paralympic medalist Andrew Kurka. The Alaska native earned a spot on the Paralympic team at the 2014 Games in Sochi but crashed during a training run and injured his back, leaving him unable to partake in the Opening Ceremony or compete for a medal. He returned to the Paralympic stage in 2018 in PyeongChang where he became the first Alaskan Paralympic medalist when he won a gold medal in downhill and a silver medal in super-G.
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Who are the U.S. flagbearers for the Beijing Paralympics?
Alpine skiers Danelle Umstead and Tyler Carter will be the U.S. flagbearers for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony on Friday. Umstead, 50, is a three-time bronze medalist competing in the visually impaired classification. Carter, 28, is making his third Paralympic appearance. He finished 27th in the giant slalom in 2014 and 19th in the slalom in 2018. Beijing will be the final Games for both skiers.
How can I watch the Winter Paralympic Games?
NBC Universal will provide over 230 hours of Paralympic programming across NBC, Peacock, USA Network, Olympic Channel, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports App. Click here for the day-by-day TV viewing guide with how to watch information and more.
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