The 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team has added 22 new members, including 3 swimmers, after a redistribution of spots vacated by the barred Russian team.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) says that they’re hoping to redistribute 85% of the 267 athlete spots that had previously been earned by Russia after the CAS upheld a total ban of the country from the 2016 Paralympics.
Among the 22 spots allocated to the United States were female swimmers Cassie Mitchell, Haley Beranbaum. and Leslie Cichocki. No American male swimmers were added.
Unlike the Olympics, where spots are allocated based on time standards plus Universality selections, Paralympic roster spots are awarded to countries based on performance standards at different international meets. Whereas at the Olympics, no country used its maximum roster, at the Paralympics, countries almost always use all of the spots earned at the Games.
Mitchell will now be a two-sport athlete – she was already a member of the American Track & Field team – she’s the 2013 World Champion in women’s discus (and, incidentally, a two-time World Champion in para-cycling as well). IN 2016, she broke World Records in the T51 women’s 100m and 400m trackc events and won the club throw at the U.S. Paralympic Trials – held concurrently with the U.S. Paralympic swimming trials in Charlotte at the end of June. Mitchell is an assistant research professor at Georgia Tech during the day.
For Beranbaum, this is a second chance after she was initially named to the team before a selection-standards error was discovered.
Beranbaum was on the originally-announced roster as a result of her performance in the 400 free. She was replaced by Grogan when the selection error was discovered (read more about that here), but bumped to the 1st alternate position.
Cichoski competes in the S14 category – which was not offered in swimming at the 2012 Paralympics. According to the United States Olympic Committee, CiChoski will become the first Intellectually Disabled swimmer to represent the United States at the Paralympics.
She won gold in the 100 back at the 2015 Parapan American Games.
We have not yet found any other countries who have announced updates to their Paralympic Teams. Russia won 71 medals and broke 10 World Records at last year’s IPC Swimming World Championship, both more than any other country, so this shift in qualifying spots will change the dynamic of the Paralympics in more ways than one.
The new updated roster is below:
|Evan Austin||6-1||175||9-10-1992||Terre Haute, Ind.|
|Cody Bureau||6-0||160||6/4/1988||Latrobe, Pa.|
|Tharon Drake||6-3||175||12/19/1992||Hobbs, N.M.|
|Tucker Dupree||6-0||180||5/11/1989||Raleigh, N.C.|
|Tye Dutcher||5-10||155||10/15/1996||Merced, Calif.|
|Rudy Garcia-Tolson||6-1||137||9/14/1988||Bloomington, Calif.|
|Robert Griswold||6-0||155||11/27/1996||Freehold, N.J.|
|Dalton Herendenn||6-4||185||4/23/1993||Elkhart, Ind.|
|Roy Perkins||6-0||130||5/9/1990||San Diego, Calif.|
|Brad Snyder||5-9||150||2/29/1984||Baltimore, Md.|
|Hannah Aspden||5-10||130||6/11/2000||Raleigh, N.C.|
|Haley Beranbaum||3-9||85||6/4/1996||Snohomish, Wash.|
|Reilly Boyt||4-2||107||5/30/1996||Fort Collins, Colo.|
|Brickelle Bro||5-9||135||11/11/1996||Castle Pines, Colo.|
|Leslie Cichocki||5-9||135||12/28/1988||Palos Hills, Ill.|
|McKenzie Coan||4-3||105||6/14/1996||Clarkesville, Ga.|
|Cailin Currie||5-7||130||6/11/1998||Danvers, Mass.|
|Alyssa Gialamas||5-4||110||5/12/1995||Naperville, Ill.|
|Lindsay Grogran||5-4||115||12/19/1987||Macon, Ga.|
|McClain Hermes||5-5||130||1/5/2001||Dacula, Ga.|
|Sophia Herzog||4-0||80||3/20/1997||Fairplay, Colo.|
|Cortney Jordan||5-3||130||6/24/1991||Henderson, Nev.|
|Michelle Konkoly||5-10||152||2/20/1992||Eagleville, Pa.|
|Jessica Long||5-9||140||2/29/1992||Baltimore, Md.|
|Elizabeth Marks||5-5||125||8/7/1990||Nashville, Tenn.|
|Letticia Martinez||5-1||120||7/16/1995||Las Cruces, N.M.|
|Rebecca Meyers||5-3||124||11/20/1994||Baltimore, Md.|
|Cassie Mitchell||5-6||121||6/8/1981||Warner, Okla.|
|Noga Nir-Kistler||5-4||120||5/18/1979||Allentown, Pa.|
|Martha Ruether||5-10||142||7/3/1994||Allegany, N.Y.|
|Natalie Sims||5-8||45||6/6/1997||Edina, Minn.|
|Lizzi Smith||5-4||130||6/26/1996||Muncie, Ind.|
|Mallory Weggemann||5-9||125||3/26/1989||Eagan, Minn.|
|Colleen Young||5-8||135||6/29/1998||St. Louis, Mo.|