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Military, Veteran Athletes Compete in Winter Paralympic Games

March 4, 2022 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

The XIII Winter Paralympic Games are underway in Beijing and the nearby areas of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.

A paralympian is pictured.
Josh Sweeney
Josh Sweeney will represent the U.S. in the 2022 Winter Paralympics Nordic skiing competition in Beijing in March. He's pictured here in 2015.
Photo By: Courtesy of Josh Sweeney
VIRIN: 150110-O-D0439-002

The international event, which runs through March 13, features 78 events in five sports: Alpine skiing, 30 events; Nordic skiing, including the biathlon, 18 events, and cross-country skiing, 20 events; para ice hockey, one event; snowboarding, eight events; and wheelchair curling, one event. 

Military athletes competing this year for Team USA: 

Alpine skiing: David Williams, Army
A man poses for a photo.
David Williams
David Williams will represent the U.S. in the 2022 Winter Paralympics Alpine skiing competition in Beijing in March.
Photo By: Courtesy Team USA
VIRIN: 220110-O-D0439-001C
Nordic skiing: Daniel Cnossen, Navy, and Josh Sweeney, Marines
A man skis.
David Cnossen
Daniel Cnossen will represent the U.S. in the 2022 Winter Paralympics Nordic skiing competition in Beijing in March.
Photo By: Courtesy International Paralympic Committee
VIRIN: 220110-O-D0439-002A
Sled hockey: Jen Lee, Army; Joseph Woodke, Marines; Josh Misiewicz, Marines; Ralph DeQuebec, Marines; Rico Roman, Army; and Travis Dodson, Marines
A hockey player is pictured.
Jen Lee
Jen Lee will represent the U.S. in the 2022 Winter Paralympics sled hockey competition in Beijing in March. He's pictured here in 2014.
Photo By: Army photo
VIRIN: 140110-O-D0439-002
Snowboarding: Michael Spivey, Marines; and Tyler Burdick, Navy
A snowboarder is pictured.
Michael Spivey
Michael Spivey will represent the U.S. in the 2022 Winter Paralympics snowboarding competition in Beijing in March.
Photo By: Courtesy of Michael Spivey
VIRIN: 140110-O-D0439-003
Wheelchair curling: Stephen Emt, Army
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More About Paralympic Winter Games

The Winter Paralympics is open to athletes with physical disabilities, including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy. They’re held every four years following the Winter Olympic Games; they’re held in the same city that hosts the Olympic Games.  

The origin of the Winter Paralympics is similar to that of the Summer Paralympics. Injured soldiers returning from World War II pursued sports as an avenue to healing. Dr. Ludwig Guttmann organized sports competitions between British convalescent hospitals began in 1948 and continued them until 1960 when parallel Paralympic Games were held in Rome after the 1960 Summer Olympics. Over 400 wheelchair athletes competed at the 1960 Paralympic Games, which became known as the first Paralympics.  

The Winter Paralympics began in 1976 in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. They were the first to feature athletes other than those in wheelchairs.