American Paralympians Shine in London
- By Elisha Bury
- Sep 17, 2012
The London 2012 Paralympic Games came to a dramatic close with an array of athletes honored for their inspiring performances. In 11 days of competition, athletes from around the world proved that there is a whole lot of ability among people with disabilities.
"We will never think of sport the same way, and we will never think of disability the same way," remarked Sebastian Coe, organizing committee chair, after the Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony. "The Paralympians have lifted the clouds of limitation."
China, Great Britain and the Russian Federation led the total medal count with 231, 120 and 102 medals, respectively. These same countries led the overall gold medal total: China took home 95, the Russian Federation earned 36 and Great Britain won 34.
The United States fared well, placing fourth in the overall medal count with 98 total medals and sixth in the gold medal count with 31 medals. Team USA swimmer Jessica Long tied with Australia's Jacqueline Freney and Matthew Cowdrey as the athletes with the most medals in the games. Long won five gold, two silver and one bronze.
Below is a summary of Team USA's performance in each of the Paralympic sports. For more information, visit Team USA's Web site or check out its YouTube channel for videos. Also don't miss U.S. Paralympics gallery of medalists here.
Jeff Fabry (Tulare, Calif.) took gold in the men's compound W1, even after shattering his bow in the semifinals and missing three turns. He also became the first U.S. archer to win a Paralympic gold medal since 1984. In the men's compound open, Matt Stutzman (Kalona, Iowa), known as the Inspirational Archer, won silver, falling to Jere Forsberg of Finland.
Athletics (Track & Field)
Team USA brought home 28 medals in the athletics division, nine of them gold.
The women's team had a strong showing, with 13 medals overall: The reigning world and Paralympic record holder in the 100 meter (T44), April Holmes, scored bronze. Kerry Morgan (St. Louis, Mo.) earned bronze in the 100 meter (T52) and 200 meter (T52). Jessica Galli (Hillsborough, N.J.) earned bronze in the 800 meter (T53).
Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) took home four medals total: three gold in the women's 400 meter (T54), 800 meter (T54) and 1,500 meter (T54), and one bronze in the 100 meter (T54). Shirley Reilly (Tucson, Ariz.) took silver behind Switzerland's Edith Wolf in the 5,000-meter (T54) and bronze in the 1,500 meter (T54). She also clinched gold in the marathon (T54).
Angela Madsen (Long Beach, Calif.) won bronze in shot put (F54/55/56), and Zena Cole (Toledo, Ohio), making her games debut, took bronze in the discus throw (F51/52/53).
The men's team did well also, scoring 15 medals for Team USA. Although world record holder Elexis Gillette (Raleigh, N.C.) fell short of his personal best in the long jump (F11), he still managed to win silver, just behind the Ukraine's Ruslan Katyshev. Jeff Skiba (Sammamish, Wash.) won silver in the high jump (F46), behind Poland's Maciej Lepiato.
Richard Browne earned silver in the 100 meter (T44). In the 100 meter (T52), two Americans made it to the podium: Raymond Martin (Jersey City, N.J.) with gold and Paul Nitz (Bloomfield, Conn.) with bronze. Martin also picked up three other medals, all of them gold, in the 200 meter (T52), the 400 meter (T52) and the 800 meter (T52).
In the men's 200-meter (T44) final, Jim Bob Bizzell, Blake Leeper and Jerome Singleton competed in a sold-out stadium. Only Leeper made it to the podium with bronze, after diving across the finish line. Brazil's Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira took first, and South Africa's Oscar Pistorius finished with silver. Leeper also picked up silver in the 400 meter (T44) behind Pistorius and ahead of teammate David Prince (Brandon, Fla.), who set a world record and won bronze.
Shaquille Vance (Houston, Miss.) took silver in the men's 200-meter final (T42). Joshua George (Herndon, Va.) won bronze in the men's 800 meter (T53).
Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas), the defending Paralympic gold medalist from the 2008 Paralympic Games, set a Paralympic record and won gold in the discus throw (T44). A throw of 8.26 meters earned Scot Severn (Unionville, Mich.), a U.S. Army veteran, a bronze medal in the shot put (F52/53).
The United States claimed 12 medals in road and five medals in track cycling.
In road cycling, six-time U.S. Paralympian Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won gold in the women's individual C1-3 time trial and bronze in the women's individual C1-3 road race. Marianna "Muffy" Davis (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Monica Bascio (Evergreen, Colo.) finished first and second in the individual H1-3 road race. Davis also picked up gold in the individual H1-2 time trial, while Bascio took a second silver in the individual H3 time trial.
Megan Fisher (Missoula, Mont.) won gold in the individual C4 time trial. Kelly Crowley (Redwood City, Calif.) won bronze in the women's individual C4-5 and the women's individual C5 time trials.
In men's action, Marine Corps veteran Oz Sanchez (San Diego, Calif.) won bronze in the individual H4 time trial. Joe Berenyi (Aurora, Ill.) completed his set with a silver medal in the individual C3 time trial.
The mixed H1-5 team relay was a gold medal event for Team USA, which included Davis, Oscar Sanchez (San Diego, Calif.) and Matthew Updike (Denver, Colo.).
In track cycling, Jones claimed a third medal, bronze, in the women's individual C1-3 pursuit. Fisher also claimed a second medal, silver, in the women's individual C4 pursuit. U.S. Army veteran Jennifer Schuble (Homewood, Ala.) won silver in the women's individual C4-5 500-meter time trial.
In men's competition, Berenyi set a new world record and won gold in the individual C3 pursuit.
Team USA also claimed a medal in mixed track cycling, a bronze this time, thanks to teammates Berenyi, Sam Kavanagh (Coram, Mont.) and Schuble.
Dartanyon Crockett (Cleveland, Ohio), competing in the men's -90 kg, took bronze. Myles Porter (Fremont, Ohio) won silver, narrowly missing the podium's top spot in the men's -100 kg. Korea's Gwang-Geun Choi clenched gold in that event.
The U.S. trunk and arms mixed double sculls crew of Marine Corps veteran Rob Jones (Lovettsville, Va.) and Oksana Masters (Louisville, Ky.) secured the bronze medal. It was the first Paralympic medal in the trunk and arms mixed double sculls event for Team USA.
Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) collected silver in the SKUD-18 event (two-person keelboat).
Team USA brought home 41 medals in swimming.
Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.), one of the top medalists of the games, won eight medals. She took gold in the 100-meter freestyle (S8) (breaking her own world record), gold in the 100-meter butterfly (S8), gold (and a world record) in the 400-meter freestyle (S8), gold in the 100-meter breaststroke (S8), silver in the 100-meter backstroke (S8), and gold in the 200-meter individual medley (S8). In addition, Long medaled in two team events.
Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nev.) and Kelley Becherer (Sheboygan, Wis.) claimed four medals each. Jordan won silver in the 50-meter freestyle (S7), silver in 100-meter freestyle (S7), silver in the 400-meter freestyle (S7) and bronze in the 100-meter backstroke (S7). Becherer grabbed gold and successfully defended her Paralympic title in the 50-meter freestyle (S13). She also won gold in the 100-meter freestyle (S13) and bronze in both the 100-meter breaststroke (SB13) and 200-meter individual medley (SM13).
Victoria Arlen (Exeter, N.H.) earned gold in the 100-meter freestyle (S8), silver in the 50-meter freestyle (S6) and silver in the 400-meter freestyle (S6). Elizabeth Stone (Grand Rapids, Mich.) took bronze in the 100-meter butterfly (S9) and the 100-meter backstroke (S9). Rebecca Meyers (Timonium, Md.) scored silver in the 200-meter individual medley (SM13) and bronze in the 100-meter freestyle (S13).
Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minn.) won gold in the 50-meter freestyle (S8) with a time of 31.13, a new Paralympic and American record. Susan Beth Scott (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) and Noga Nir-Kistler (Allentown, Pa.) each turned in bronze-medal performances in the 400-meter freestyle (S10) and 100-meter breaststroke (SB5), respectively.
The women's team of Long, Scott, Arlen and Anna Eames (Golden Valley, Minn.) won silver in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. The women's 4x100-meter medley relay team won bronze with team members Scott, Anna Johannes (Alexandria, Va.), Long and Weggemann.
The men collected 15 medals. Roy Perkins (Del Mar, Calif.) earned four medals: three silvers in the 50-meter freestyle (S5), 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle (S5), and one bronze in the 200-meter freestyle (S5).
Navy Lt. Brad Snyder (St. Petersburg, Fla.), who lost his vision just one year ago while deployed in Afghanistan, and Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, N.C.) each earned three trips to the podium. Snyder won gold in the 100-meter freestyle (S11), gold in the 400-meter freestyle (S11) and silver in the 50-meter freestyle (S11), with a personal best of 25.93. Dupree (Raleigh, N.C.) won silver in the 100-meter backstroke (S12) and two bronze medals in the 50-meter butterfly (S12) and 100-meter freestyle (S12).
Lantz Lamback (Augusta, Ga.) took gold in the 50-meter freestyle (S7) and bronze in the 100-meter freestyle (S7). Ian Silverman (Baltimore, Md.) delivered a gold-medal performance in the 400-meter freestyle (S10), his first Paralympic medal. Justin Zook (Plymouth, Minn.) also took gold in the 100-meter backstroke (S10) and set a new Paralympic record with a time of 1:00.01.
Rudy Garcia-Tolson (Riverside, Calif.) claimed the silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley, finishing with a personal best of 2:33.94. Though his time was an American record and nearly two seconds faster than the morning session, where he set the world record, Garcia-Tolson finished behind Ukraine's Yevheniy Bohodayko, who won and broke the world record with a time of 2:33.13.
The U.S. women's sitting volleyball team won silver after failing to defeat China, the reigning gold medalist. Although Team USA had a strong beginning, winning the first set 25-22, China won the next three sets, 15-25, 30-32 and 15-24. Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) led scoring with 28 spikes and three blocks. Another top contributing scorer was Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.).
The U.S. men's wheelchair basketball team beat out Great Britain 61-46 to win bronze. Matt Scott (Detroit, Mich.) led in overall scoring, contributing 20 points. Jeremy Lade (Oconto, Wis.) and captain William Waller (Hudson, Ohio) also scored in the double digits posting 15 and 12 points, respectively.
The U.S. men's wheelchair rugby team defeated Japan 53-43 to win bronze. Team USA came together for the win, with no one player leading in scoring. The team finished with a 4-1 record and a third consecutive medal in the Paralympic Games.
The U.S. wheelchair tennis team claimed three medals in competition. David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.), the No. 1 ranked quad men's player in the world and the top seed at the games, took silver in quad singles, falling to Israel's Shraga Weinberg. Wagner did beat Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kansas), who ended competition in the bronze position in the men's quad division. Wagner and Taylor teamed up in men's quad doubles, setting a record with their third consecutive gold medal.
Team USA missed medals in boccia, equestrian, goalball, powerlifting, shooting, soccer, table tennis and wheelchair fencing.