U.S. Olympic Committee announces six coaching finalists for 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year

Winners to be announced during Best of the Year Awards show to be held Nov. 29 in Los Angeles
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the three Olympic and three Paralympic coaching finalists for the 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year. Beginning in 2017, the USOC added the Olympic and Paralympic Coaches of the Year awards to the Team USA Awards program for Best of the Year and Best of the Games, further highlighting the important role coaches play in athlete performance.

The winners will be determined by a USOC selection panel of coaching, communications, marketing and sport performance professionals, and recognized during the Best of the Year Awards gala, to be held Nov. 29 in Los Angeles. NBC will provide coverage of the awards show from 5-6 p.m. ET on Dec. 23.

Olympic Coach of the Year Finalists
Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Boxing
Walsh coached USA Boxing to one of its most successful seasons in 2017. After being named Coach of the Year by AIBA in 2016, he has championed Team USA at six international tournaments, winning 28 international medals out of a possible 53. At the 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships, he guided the U.S. men’s team to three medals – the most since 1999. With only five boxers competing, the U.S. men finished fourth in the team standings behind nations featuring nine or more boxers in the tournament. For his efforts, he was named best coach of the tournament. On the women’s side, he coached Virginia Fuchs to four international gold medals and a perfect 16-0 record in 2017.

Matt Whitcomb (Worthington, Massachusetts), Nordic Skiing
Since assuming his position as head coach in 2012, Whitcomb has led the U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team to unprecedented success, highlighted by three world championship medals from three different athletes in 2017 and its third straight fourth-place finish in the 4×5-kilometer. Under his direction, five athletes combined for nine world cup podium finishes on the 2016-17 circuit and three athletes advanced to the six-person world championship sprint final in Lahti, Finland. Off the snow, Whitcomb led his team in spearheading an anti-doping petition that was ultimately co-authored by representatives from eight nations and earned more than 100 signatures from cross-country athletes around the world. The petition helped create a platform for athletes to voice their concerns to the International Olympic Committee and International Ski Federation to protect clean athletes in competition.

Bill Zadick (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Wrestling
In his first year as the U.S. national freestyle coach of USA Wrestling, Zadick led the 2017 U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Wrestling Team to its first senior world team title since 1995, marking only the third senior world team crown in program history. The final match of the world championships was dubbed “The Match of the Century” as Team USA’s Kyle Snyder defeated Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia at 97 kg., giving the U.S. a one-point edge for the title. Under Zadick’s leadership, the U.S. won six medals in eight weight classes overall. Additionally, he led the 2017 U.S. junior world team to its first world title since 1984.

Paralympic Coach of the Year Finalists
MJ Rogers (Carlinville, Illinois), Para Archery
Rogers coached the U.S. Para Archery Team to a world team title at the 2017 World Archery Para Championships in Beijing. The team also brought home five individual medals – one gold, two silvers and two bronzes. In addition to guiding athletes in competition, Rogers travels the country working with Team USA athletes in their local communities and teaching adaptive archery seminars for athletes and coaches throughout the Americas. He has also been a critical player in generating resources for para athletes and was instrumental in working with USA Archery to develop the Adaptive Archery Manual, which has gained international recognition as the premiere resource for para archers.

Eileen Carey (Leeds, Maine), Para Nordic Skiing
At the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships, Carey coached Oksana Masters to four gold medals and one bronze, and helped Andy Soule capture silver and bronze medals. During the 2016-17 world cup season, she led the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Team to 33 world cup medals, a record for the program over the past six seasons. Additionally, Carey helped Team USA to 12 world cup medals in biathlon, marking four times as many as the previous year. Under her mentorship, Masters won the overall cross-country world cup title for the third time and finished third overall in biathlon. Carey also guided Dan Cnossen in winning six medals in just eight starts in his return to the world cup circuit.

Adam Bleakney (Champaign, Illinois), Para Track and Field
For more than a decade, Bleakney has leveraged his experience as a U.S. Paralympic silver medalist to help produce some of the most dominant athletes in wheelchair racing at the University of Illinois. With 12 athletes on the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field National Team, his athletes have had a major impact for Team USA in international competition, combining for 15 medals – including five golds – at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships. Five of the athletes won multiple medals in London, highlighted by a Team USA sweep in the women’s T54 200 meters and Tatyana McFadden’s four golds that tied for the most successful performance of the event.


A big thanks to our sponsors and attendees for making the Adaptive Spirit’s 22nd annual event a huge success. The event theme was “Rise” and all of you did just that! You rose to the occasion to support the U.S. Paralympic Ski and Snowboard Team. You also “adapted” as the organization made last minute lodging and venue changes. By all accounts and according to our research, 94% of the attendees felt we handled the changes well.


And, we met our financial goal and raised $1.38 million. The educational panel that has traditionally opened the event for the last six years was outstanding. Big thanks to board member Tom Wlodkowski, VP Accessibility at Comcast, who assembled an all-star panel to discuss the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act and how distributors and vendors are developing  products and services to serve this audience. Special thanks to Suzy Rosen Singleton, FCC Chief of the Disability Rights Office, for her keynote and participation on the panel.


The year before a Paralympic year is an important one for the team and Adaptive Spirit. As you saw from the fantastic videos we showed at the banquets, the team spent time in South Korea in early 2017 to compete on the hill, tracks and courses to be used at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games. They were able to do that because of your support! And for Adaptive Spirit, it is important to meet our fundraising goals in order for the team to head into the 2017-2018 season with the proper training and competition to prepare them to represent our country and bring home medals! We are off to a great start with over $600k sponsor commitments for SkiTAM 2018.


We look forward to your continued support of Adaptive Spirit and want to remind you to mark your calendars for the 23rd event which runs April 5 – 8. We plan to celebrate the many successes and medals the team will bring home!

Steve Raymond

Chairperson, Adaptive Spirit Board of Directorssteve

U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Names 2017-18 National Team


June 1, 2017

U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Names 2017-18 National Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Thirteen athletes, including seven U.S. Paralympians in Nordic skiing, were named to the 2017-2018 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team today by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee.

“The level to which our Nordic skiers have performed already is very inspiring,” said Paralympic Nordic Skiing head coach Eileen Carey. “Our veteran athletes have continued to improve as we approach the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, and the addition of new members on our national and development teams is promising for the future.”

Three-time Paralympic medalist Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) highlights the team after claiming four world championships titles during the 2016-17 season, including cross-country crowns in sprint, middle and long distances, as well as the sprint biathlon title. She capped off the season by securing her third consecutive overall women’s sitting world cup globe in cross-country at the World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup Finals in Sapporo, Japan. Additionally, Masters finished third in the world cup overall rankings in biathlon.

Kendall Gretsch (Chicago, Illinois), Ruslan Reiter (Manchester, Maine) and Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland) all make the national and development teams for the first time.

Four military veterans are featured on the roster, including Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas/Navy), Sean Halsted (Rathdrum, Idaho/ Air Force), Bryan Price (Belton, Missouri/Army) and Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas/Army).

Team USA had a record-breaking 2016-17 season that finished with 33 world cup medals by five athletes, setting a record for the Nordic skiing team. Of the 33 world cup medals acquired, 12 were in biathlon. All A- and B-Team athletes reached the podium this past season, including first-time medals for Jake Adicoff (Sun Valley, Idaho) and guide Sawyer Kesselheim (Bozeman, Montana), as well as Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) at the PyeongChang Test Event.

2017-18 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Teams
*Denotes U.S. Paralympian in Nordic skiing
# Denotes U.S. Military veterans

A Team
*Jake Adicoff (Sun Valley, Idaho) – visually impaired skier
*#Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas/Navy) – sit skier
Sawyer Kesselheim (Bozeman, Montana) – guide
*Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) – sit skier

B Team
*Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) – sit skier
*#Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas/Army) – sit skier

C Team
Kendall Gretsch (Chicago, Illinois) – sit skier

Development Team 
*#Sean Halsted (Rathdrum, Idaho/Air Force) – sit skier
*#Bryan Price (Belton, Missouri/Army) – sit skier
Ruslan Reiter (Manchester, Maine) – standing skier
Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland) – sit skier
Joy Rondeau (Granby, Colorado) – sit skier
Mia Zutter (Sun Prairie, Wisconsin) – visually impaired skier

2017 Final Race Results

ADULT Race Results


The 2017 Adult Race brought together 300 racers and 60 teams. The Competitive Division posted some great times as well as the Sport Division. Here is a breakdown of the top 3 teams from each Division:


  1. HBO 4: 142.31 total seconds. Brenda Kirwood, Jeff Kirwood, Kate Kirwood, Wyatt Hall, Thomas Walsh
  2. Precision Optical: 142.43 total seconds. Stacey Bolger, Todd Davis, Andrew McNealus, Chris Ochs, BethAnn Chamberlain
  3. NBCU 3: 156.9 total seconds. Patrick Dodd, Andrew Kirkpatrick, Haley Perlus, MJ Connors, Jamie Stanton


  1. Humax Posse: 227.97 total seconds. Chris Stone, Nick Nielsen, Will Biancarelli, Luke Lumley, Evan Strong
  2. Integra: 228.86 total seconds. Jeff DeWeese, Robert O’Shea, Aidan O’Shea, Lisa Carpenter, Graham Watanabe
  3. Technicolor 2: 232.12 total seconds. Yuru Schanman, Dean Osbourne, Gary Schanman,  Eric Rutter, Chris Newey

In addition to the top team results, here is a breakdown of the Fastest Females, Fastest Males and the Top 3 Snowboarders:


  1. Kate Kirwood, HBO, 27.62 seconds
  2. Diann Roffe, HPE, 28.33 seconds
  3. Haley Perlus, NBC Universal, 29.04 seconds


  1. Wyatt Hall, HBO, 26.31 seconds
  2. Andrew McNealus, Precision Optical, 26.89 seconds
  3. Stacey Bolger, Precision Optical, 27.47 seconds


  1. Tristan Clegg, S&D Marketing | Advertising, 38.36 seconds
  2. JT Lumley, Humax Rush, 42.53 seconds
  3. Albert Garcia, Humax Rush, 43.99 seconds

Finally, each year we hand out 3 very special awards to the Best Dressed, the Best Crash & the Most Time on Course. Here are this year’s winners:

BEST DRESSED (Founding Fathers and Betsey Ross): CAS Group
BEST CRASH: John Young, S&D Marketing | Advertising
MOST TIME SPENT ON COURSE: Thomas Jefferson, CAS Group

For complete race results, click on the link below.


YOUTH Race Results

We had another great turnout this year, as 37 of our youth racers competed in the 2017 race! Each age category showed some incredible times from both the girls and the boys groups.

Here is a breakdown of the top 3 times within each age category:


  1. Stella DiGeronimo, 49.21 seconds
  2. Susanna Piro, 52.03 seconds
  3. Lejle Bambur, 52.17 seconds

8-11: GIRLS

  1. Piper Mayes, 34.63 seconds
  2. Bella Tolle,  39.97 seconds
  3. Nayra Garcia, 42.1 seconds

12-16: GIRLS

  1. Kaitlin Zingler, 43.6 seconds
  2. Elli Rothschild, 46.5 seconds
  3. Emily Barr, 56.07 seconds


  1. Nicholas Piro, 1:13
  2. William DiGeronimo, 1:43

8-11: BOYS

  1. Bennett Jardine, 33.15 seconds
  2. Caden Mahonchak, 33.73 seconds
  3. Thomas Barr, 38.35 seconds

12-16: BOYS

  1. Rory Bartlett, 34.85 seconds
  2. Will Biancarelli, 35.55 seconds
  3. Ryan, 39.86 seconds

Meet your sponsored athlete!

Cisco Tyler Walker
Cox Keith Gabel
Disney and ESPN Media Networks Josh Elliott
Ericsson Danelle and Rob Umstead
HBO Thomas Walsh
Huawei Technologies Mark Bathum/Cade Yamamoto
Humax USA Evan Strong
NBCUniversal Jamie Stanton
Netcracker Technology Andrew Kurka
Nominum Stephanie Jallen
AMC Networks Monica Bascio
ARRIS Kevin Burton/Chris Tatsuno
Assurant Laurie Stephens
Charter Staci Mannella/Sadie DeBaun
Fujitsu Network Communications Chris Devlin-Young
S&D Marketing | Advertising Brenna Huckaby
Visible World Mike Schultz
Amdocs Mark Urich
CAS Group Melanie Schwartz
CSG International Alana Nichols
Deluxe OnDemand Stephani Victor
FCB Chicago Ralph Green
Fox Networks Group Oksana Masters
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Ben Black
Horowitz Research Michael Minor
IWCO Direct Nicole Roundy
NetScout Systems Tony McAllister
Neustar Inc. Brad Alire
Nokia Jessica Smith
PM3 Chris Clark
Ruckus Wireless Bob Meserve
Sagemcom Stephen Lawler
Slalom Kevin Jardine
Stingray Mike Shea
Technicolor Chris Newey
Vubiquity Jasmin Bambur
Accedo Joy Rondeau
Adobe Eileen Carey
Advanced 1 John Farra
AT&T Sports Networks Graham Watanabe/Andy Soule
beIn Sports BethAnn Chamberlain
Ciena Chris Waddell
Concurrent Pat Holland
Dun & Bradstreet Kevin Jardine
Espial Mark Mann
EYEMG Jessica Smith
Hitron Technologies America Tony McAllister
iN Demand Victor Beckman
Initiative Chris Newey
IntegraOptics Graham Watanabe
Myhren Media Andy Soule
NESN John Farra
Oracle Mike Brown
Ovation Chris Waddell
Precision Optical Transceivers BethAnn Chamberlain
Samsung Pat Holland
Sand Cherry Associates Mark Mann
TiVo Bob Meserve
Universal Electronics Victor Beckman
Univision Eileen Carey
World Wide Technology Joy Rondeau

Snowboarders successful at world cup final with one year until Winter Games

March 13, 2017

Snowboarders successful at world cup final with one year until Winter Games

  • Mann, Minor and Strong secured overall world cup titles.
  • Team USA won nine medals, including two golds, at the PyeongChang test event.

PYEONGCHANG – The U.S. Paralympics Snowboard team won four overall world cup titles and brought home nine medals at the 2017 World Para Snowboard World Cup Final, which served as the test event for the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

During Friday’s snowboard-cross competition, Team USA won four medals with silvers from Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah) and Brenna Huckaby (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), and bronzes from Amy Purdy (Las Vegas, Nevada) and Tyler Burdick (Salt Lake City, Utah). Mark Mann (Woodbury, Minnesota) and Mike Minor (Waymart, Pennsylvania) had previously secured the necessary points to claim their respective world cup titles, and Evan Strong (Maui, Hawaii) was able to secure his own globe as well to complete the U.S. title sweep.

In Monday’s banked slalom events, Team USA secured five additional medals to close out the PyeongChang test event and world cup final. Minor raced to gold, giving him the overall world cup title in the men’s SB-UL division. Bronze medals from Mike Schultz (Saint Cloud, Minnesota), Mike Shea (Castaic, California) and Purdy rounded out the day, as Huckaby took the final gold by nearly two seconds.

With the test event serving as the final international event of the 2016-17 season, the U.S. riders will close their season at the U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding National Championships at Copper Mountain in Colorado, March 24-26.

Mark Mann SB-LL1: snowboard-cross
Evan Strong SB-LL2: snowboard-cross
Mike Minor SB-UL: snowboard-cross
Mike Minor SB-UL: banked slalom

Team USA: 9
Keith Gabel (SB-LL2): snowboard-cross silver
Brenna Huckaby (SB-LL1): snowboard-cross silver, banked slalom gold
Amy Purdy (SB-LL1): snowboard-cross bronze, banked slalom bronze
Tyler Burdick (SB-LL1): snowboard-cross bronze
Mike Minor (SB-UL): banked slalom gold
Mike Schultz (SB-LL1): banked slalom bronze
Mike Shea (SB-LL2): banked slalom bronze

Full results of the world cup are available at the World Para Snowboard website.

For more information, contact Stafford Braxton, U.S. Paralympics, 719-866-2944 or Stafford.Braxton@usoc.org.
United States Olympic Committee
1 Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

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Adaptive Spirit 2017 makes a move to the Vail Marriott! FAQ

All the questions you need to know for #ASvail2017!


Q:  If I paid any money to the Hotel Talisa but I wish to stay at another location, will I get a refund?

A:  Yes – All payments will be 100% refunded in 7-10 working days of placing the request.

Q:  How much will the rooms cost if I had a reservation at the Hotel Talisa?

A:  Your cost will not be more. A similar room type will be the same or less as your reservation at the Hotel Talisa.

Q:  Should I cancel my reservation at the Hotel Talisa and book another property?

A:  It is better to contact the SkiTAM staff to handle this for you. Most rooms in the Lionshead area have been contracted by Adaptive Spirit in anticipation of this change. For your convenience, our staff will contact everyone who currently has a Talisa reservation, facilitate the cancellation and rebooking.

Q:  What other properties are available?

A: As of February 23, rooms are going fast! In addition to rooms at the Hotel Talisa, the following properties are holding rooms and condos:

  • Lionshead:
    • Arabelle / Lion Square Lodge / Montaneros / Evergreen Lodge / Ritz Carlton
  • Vail Village:
    • Lodge at Vail / Sonnenalp / Austria Haus
  • Golden Peak:
    • Manor Vail

Q:  What would happen if I chose to stay at the Hotel Talisa?

A:  Recognizing there will be ongoing construction, you will be treated to a brand new room that is nothing but Starwood Luxury Brand fabulous! In addition, the convenience of getting on and off the mountain using the Cascade lift is always a draw. It will also be convenient for the Saturday activities since they are still being held in that hotel.

Q:  If I choose to stay at the Hotel Talisa, how will I get to the group activities?

A:  The Hotel Talisa shuttle will be running on a regular basis. The shuttle regular stops include the Marriott, Evergreen Lodge, Lionshead, Vail Transportation Center and Golden Peak on request. The Town of Vail bus runs throughout Vail Village and has a regular stop at the Marriott.

Q: Where will I find information at the event on location changes?

A: There will be signage and materials located in Hotel Talisa,  the Vail Marriott and other participating hotels providing correct  event time and location. You can also access the mobile App to find all agenda information and interactive maps.

Q:  Where will I register?

A:  SkiTAM HQ will be at the Vail Marriott. Please plan to visit us to register and receive everything you will need to attend the event.

For more information, contact:

Event HQ
303 797 9507

Oksana Masters wins bronze in individual biathlon world championships

February 14, 2017
Oksana Masters wins bronze in individual biathlon world championships


  • Oksana Masters finished third in the women’s sitting individual biathlon at the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships
  • Masters’ podium finish was her second of the week, and the third for Team USA

FINSTERAU, Germany – Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) won her second medal of the week as she claimed bronze in the women’s sitting individual biathlon at the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.

Masters, who won her first world title in Sunday’s cross-count sprint, returned to the podium in the 12.5-kilometer biathlon event. Masters’ effort on the skis was buoyed by two perfect trips to the range out of four stages.

Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) had his best-ever showing on the world championship stage as he recorded a fourth-place finish in the men’s 15km individual biathlon. Pike finished less than three seconds off the podium. Pike’s teammate and U.S. Army veteran Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas) finished seventh in the same event.


Oksana Masters
“Today was a complete shock. Although it was a great sunny day, it was one of those frustrating days for biathlon because of the wind. I went into this race with no expectations and just wanted to focus on my process of shooting and have that perfect shot.

“The first two stages didn’t go so well, and I thought it was over at that point. Then I just wanted to out ski people, but I was able to get some good cues from my coaches on the side of the course. As I was approaching the range I focused more on my breath and just taking it one shot at a time and it worked out in the end.”

Team USA: 3
Oksana Masters: 1 gold (cross-country sprint); 1 bronze (individual biathlon)
Andy Soule: 1 silver (cross-country sprint)

Team USA will next compete in the cross-country long-distance events on Thursday, Feb. 16. Competition in Finsterau runs through Sunday, Feb. 19.

Follow live results on the Finsterau 2017 website and U.S. Paralympics on Facebook and Twitter for Team USA updates.

For more information, contact Katie Branham, U.S. Paralympics, 719-866-3302 or Katie.Branham@usoc.org.


U.S. Paralympics News Release – Tarvisio Team USA winners

January 30, 2017
Kurka storms to third medal in Tarvisio with giant slalom silver

  • Andrew Kurka won his third medal of the 2017 world championships with silver in giant slalom.
  • Kurka added silver to his gold and bronze won last week in downhill and super-G, respectively.
  • Team USA heads into the final day of competition with slalom events tomorrow.

TARVISIO, Italy – Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska) completed his collection at the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships by adding a silver medal in giant slalom to his gold and bronze earned earlier last week.

After the first run left Kurka sitting in seventh place, he dashed back to clock the fastest time of the day on his second run to secure the silver medal. The twenty-five-year-old, who finished with a time of 2:17.32 to capture his third medal in Tarvisio, was only .57 of a second off the top of the podium. Kurka will seek to close out world championship competition on Tuesday on top again with giant slalom after winning his first world title in downhill and bronze in super-G last week.

6thLaurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts) in the women’s sitting class; Josh Elliott (Yakima, Washington) in the men’s sitting class
7th Tyler Walker (Franconia, New Hampshire) in the men’s sitting class; Kevin Burton (Boulder, Colorado) with guide Chris Tatsuno (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Danelle Umstead (Park City, Utah) with guide Rob Umstead (Park City, Utah) in the men’s and women’s visually impaired class, respectively
8thMark Bathum (Mercer Island, Washington) and guide Cade Yamamoto (Quincy, Washington) in the men’s visually impaired class
9thMelanie Schwartz (Aspen, Colorado) in the women’s standing class

Andrew Kurka
“It feels awesome to finally accomplish something I have been working towards for so long. I have spent my life hoping to be an example to others. Having the chance and being put in a position where I can make a difference means the world to me.”

Follow results and action live at this week’s 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. Competition will conclude tomorrow with slalom events beginning at 4 a.m. ET.

For more information, please contact Brianna Tammaro, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-866-2068 or Brianna.Tammaro@usoc.org.

United States Olympic Committee
1 Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

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