NSCD 2014 Paralympic Athletes

NSCD Alpine

Allison Jones

Allison Jones, Colorado Springs, CO
Disability: Above knee amputee

Allison is a full time athlete competing in Alpine Skiing and Road and Track Cycling. She has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Denver. She started skiing when she was five years old and cycling competitively when she was fifteen. Sochi will be Allison’s seventh Paralympic games after competing in 2002 Salt Lake City (2 silvers), 2004 Athens (4th and 6th), 2006 Tornio (1 gold), 2008 Beijing (1 Silver), 2010 Vancouver (5th), and London (1 Gold, two Bronze, and 4th). At the London Games she became the first US athlete to win gold medals in summer and winter individual events.

Alana Nichols

Alana Nichols, Denver, CO
Disability: Paraplegic

Alana is a gold medalist in wheelchair basketball and alpine skiing. In 2002, Santa Fe Ski Resort offered Nichols a grant that would allow her to learn adaptive skiiing. She took on mono-skiing and excelled quickly. After returning from the 2008 Paralympic Games, Nichols began competing with the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) in Winter Park, Colo. At the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Nichols was the top medal winner for Team USA. She took home two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

Jamie Stanton

Jamie Stanton, Denver, CO
Disability: Below knee amputee

Jamie attends the University of Denver and has been an NSCD athlete since 2011. In 2011 and 2012 Jamie placed first in the Michigan Adaptive Sports Skiing State Championship. In Jamie’s first ever Paralympic race he won two gold medals for the junior division in giant slalom and slalom. This was followed by two more gold medals in Park City, Utah in the men’s standing category for slalom and giant slalom.

Jasmin Bambur

Jasmin Bambur, Winter Park, CO
Disability: Paraplegic

January 13, 2000 while driving home Jas fell asleep at the wheel and hit a guardrail and was given a small change to survive. After learning he could no longer use his legs he decided to fight for the life he always dreamed of regardless of the obstacles. In 2010 Jasmin was the 1st Serbian to compete in the winter Paralympics. Two years ago he decided to part ways with Serbia and became a US Citizen and now is on the US Adaptive Ski Team.

Danielle Umstead

Danielle Umstead, Park City, UT
Disability: Visually Impaired

Danelle Umstead began her journey as a visually impaired alpine skier in 2006 and quickly rose to the top. Umstead and her husband/guide Rob made history at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games as the first husband and wife visually impaired ski race team to compete for Team USA. They earned bronze medals in both the downhill and super combined events in Vancouver, and ended that season with the overall and super G World Cup titles.

Ralph Green

Ralph Green, Vail, CO
Disability: Above knee amputee

High school QB and multi-sport athlete, Ralph was gunned down at 16 in Brooklyn, and his left leg was amputated at the hip. A year later he started skiing and didn’t like it at first. Ralph eventually moved to Winter Park and that’s when he fell in love with skiing. Ralph is the first African-American man to make the US Adaptive Ski Team. He is currently a member of the US Adaptive Ski Team and has just returned from the World Championships in La Molina Spain.

Stephen Lawler

Stephen Lawler, Colorado Springs, CO
Disability: Spina Bifida

Stephen was the first adaptive ski racer to represent Vermont in high school ski competitions and competed for several years with the Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (VASS) ski team throughout middle and high school. After graduating high school he moved to Winter Park CO and started training with the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD). Stephen’s goal is to make the US Paralympic Team and compete in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Jon Lujan

Jon Lujan, Colorado Springs, CO
Disability: Spinal cord damage

Jon Lujan is a Paralympic alpine skiing hopeful who is adjusting to life as a ‘professional athlete.’ Lujan, who served in the Marine Corps for nearly eight years, suffered two ruptured discs in his back during his missions in Kuwait. During the surgery to repair his back, his spinal cord was damaged and initially Lujan was left unable to feel either leg. Following the advice of a fellow wounded veteran, Lujan became a ski racer and in 2012 was named to his first U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team. In his first season with the team, Lujan earned three NorAm Cup silver medals.

NSCD Snowboard

Mike Shea

Mike Shea, Winter Park, CO
Disability: Above knee amputee

In September 2002, while wakeboarding, a rope became wrapped around Mike’s left ankle. The amputation of his left leg changed his life and taught him how to embrace his disability and new opportunities. Mike is doing more with one leg than he ever did with two legs. With two silver medals from Winter X Games 15 and 16; a silver at the Disabled World Cup; a bronze at the Para- Snowboard World Championships; silver and gold medals from the Wells Fargo Cup, held in Winter Park; and a world ranking of second, Shea looks towards Sochi with quite an extensive resume and a long history of competition success.

Heidi Jo Duce

Heidi Jo Duce, Ouray, CO
Disability: Below knee amputee

Heidi Jo, who has fibular hemimelia, was born without a fibula and most of the bones in her right ankle and foot. At 18 months, she had what remained of her right leg amputated below the knee, and an additional four inches were amputated when she was 19. Should Heidi Jo make the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team, she would compete at the most respected event in para-snowboard cross, only 14 months after making her competitive debut.

Keith Gable

Keith Gable, Ogden, UT
Disability: Below knee amputee

Keith lost his leg in an industrial accident in 2005, and although he wasn’t looking for sympathy; he was looking for a way back on the mountain. “It was my passion,” Gabel said. “I could still walk and run, why couldn’t I board?” While Gabel was teaching himself how to snowboard with a prosthetic, an organization in California was founded to create action sport opportunities for people with physical disabilities. Now Keith will train with the NSCD for Sochi.

NSCD Nordic

Jeremy Wagner

Jeremy Wagner, Winter Park, CO
Disability: Paraplegic

In 2007, after a year in Iraq, Jeremy returned home and suffered a motorcycle accident. The crash injured his spinal cord and he lost the use of his legs. In 2010, while competing in the VA’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Denver, Wagner was approached by NSCD Paralympics biathlon coach. Wagner took a chance and gave up the sandy beaches of Hawaii for the snowcaps of the Colorado Rockies. In June 2012, Wagner was named to the 2012-13 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team. He competed for Team USA at the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Championships, Feb. 23-March 5, in Solleftea, Sweden.

Dan Cnossen

Dan Cnossen, Winter Park, CO
Disability: Double amputee

Dan found his way to nordic biathlon through recruitment after losing both legs in 2009 while serving as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan. Not long after, Cnossen was indoor rock climbing and swimming, but he quickly grew to love skiing. Cnossen even moved to Winter Park, Colo. Cnossen did not grow up skiing or shooting. He jokes that people give him way too much credit for an ability to fire a gun, which isn’t exactly like anything in military duty. The SEALs aren’t exactly firing air rifles. “I’m still new at this,” he said. “Still learning what pace I can get away with. I’m continuing to train to be a faster skier, because that’s what I’m best at.”

Beth Requist

Beth Requist, Grand County, CO
Disability: Paraplegic

Beth lost the use of her legs after a seemingly harmless jump off a rock into the Upper Colorado River. A Grand County native, Beth returned to skiing with the NSCD nordic program. “I was a snowboarder before my accident,” she said. “I got out of the hospital in November and I immediately emailed the NSCD (National Sports Center for the Disabled) to find out about cross country and alpine.” Officials told her she couldn’t participate in alpine until a year after the accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Now she’s not even sure she’ll ski alpine, except recreationally. Beth was named to the 2013-14 Paralympic Nordic Development Team.

NSCD Emerging Athletes

Ty McKenna

Ty McKenna, Castle Rock, CO
Disability: Amputee

Ty was born in the Anhui Province in Eastern China and came to be with his family at age 7. Ty is an exceptional student at Castle View High School where he enjoys weight lifting and plays the saxophone in the school band. Ty has a tremendous passion for downhill skiing and learning all aspects of the sport. Along with skiing, Ty has many interests including fox hunting with his horse Rebel, hunting, fishing and volunteering for the Shrine Hospital and Disabled Veteran charity events.

Zach Miller

Zach Miller, Littleton, CO
Disability: Cerebral Palsy

Zach was named as the first snowboarder for the DSUSA E-team. This opportunity coupled with the continued support of the NSCD coaches, trainers, administrators and teammates has changed his outlook on life which will last his lifetime. He is proud to call Winter Park his “home hill” and be a part of the NSCD Competition team. He is honored to have been named the 2012 Children’s Hospital Miracle Network Champion representing kids in Colorado.

Sarah Holm

Sarah Holm, Baraboo, WI
Disability: Paraplegic

Sarah was an able bodied skier for 10 years. In 2004 she was diagnosed with paralyzing tumors on her spinal cord, at age 11. The tumors grew back 4 different times, before she ended up having the lower portion of her spine severed in 2009 which caused partial paralysis in her legs. Sarah was granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin in December of 2009. Her wish was to learn to ski with adaptive equipment. Since then, she has been named to the U.S. Paralympic Development Team and is currently training for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.