2024 Paris Paralympics: How Team USA looks one year out from Games
A look at Team USA with one year until the 2024 Paris Paralympic Opening Ceremony ...
Jessica Long made her Paralympic debut at the 2004 Athens Games at age 12. She since won 29 Paralympic medals — second-most in U.S. history — and this month won two gold medals at the world championships (giving her 37 total world titles).
Women continue to pace U.S. swimming. The other American to win two individual titles at worlds was Morgan Stickney, who now has individual golds at all three of her global championships dating to the Tokyo Games.
The U.S. won 25 total medals at worlds, but everyone is chasing Paralympic power Ukraine, which won 55.
Track and Field
A new star emerged at July’s world championships in Paris. Jaydin Blackwell, a 19-year-old from a Detroit suburb, won 100m and 400m titles, breaking the world record in the T38 classification in the latter. He did so in his first international meet, coming back from ACL and meniscus surgery last year.
Meanwhile, 19-time Summer Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden won a silver and two bronze medals from the 100m through 800m. McFadden, also a major marathon star, is one Paralympic medal shy of the U.S. track and field record of 20 held by Bart Dodson.
The U.S. men’s basketball team and women’s sitting volleyball team each seek a third consecutive Paralympic title in Paris.
In basketball, Brian Bell, a member of gold-medal teams in Rio and Tokyo, scored a team-leading 18 points as the U.S. edged Great Britain 67-66 in June’s world championship final. That was the program’s first world title since 2002. No men’s team has won three consecutive Paralympic titles.
In sitting volleyball, the U.S. women made the podium in all five Paralympics since their event was added to the program. Last year, they earned a fourth consecutive world championship medal (bronze) after losing to eventual champion Brazil in the semifinals.
Captain Monique Matthews, a 34-year-old, three-time Paralympic medalist, continues to lead the way. She had a team-high 13 points in the world bronze-medal game.
September’s world championships will provide a clearer picture of medal prospects in triathlon.
Both U.S. women who took gold in Tokyo — Allysa Seely and Kendall Gretsch — are on the worlds start list. Fellow gold medalist Brad Snyder is not on the worlds entry list and said this spring that he was undecided on whether to make another Paralympic bid at age 39.
The U.S. took four golds at the world road cycling championships earlier this month.
Samantha Bosco swept the road race and time trial in her classification for a second consecutive year. Bosco, who missed the Tokyo Games after a training crash put her in the ICU with a skull fracture, also earned a medal in three track events at worlds, one of which is on the Paralympic program.
Oksana Masters, who last year broke the U.S. Winter Paralympic record with her 14th medal in Nordic skiing, since returned to her summer sport of cycling. At world championships the last two summers, she won her classification’s road race twice and won the time trial last year.