By Brian Rank
SOCHI, Russia – Team USA came out with another strong performance on day two of the Winter Paralympics. Wheelchair curling garnered the first win of the week against Norway and Oksana Masters won the first medal in 20 years for the women’s Nordic Skiing team with silver in the sitting 12-kilometer cross-country race. The U.S. picked up another silver in men’s alpine skiing from Mark Bathum in the super-G. And US sled hockey added another win to its record with a 3-0 shutout of South Korea.
The Russian Federation continued its medal lead with 17 total including five gold. The US has earned five total, three silver and two bronze.
Below are recaps from the day’s events.
It was a historic day for women’s cross-country skiing with Oksana Masters’ silver win in the 12 km race, the first in 20 years from the women’s team. The win was made more outstanding given this was Masters’ second medal in two days at her first Winter Paralympics.
“It’s pretty amazing I am in disbelief. I have been rowing for 10 years and only skiing for less than a year,” Masters said. “I really have to thank my training from rowing because it prepared me well for skiing; I am so happy right now.”
Teammate Tatyana McFadden came in a strong fifth. Andy Soule came in fifth in the 15 km men’s race.
Team USA earned an 8-5 win over Norway, coming back from two losses on the first day of the nine-game round robin. The win puts them at 1-2 as they ready for the next day of competition with hopes of making it to the semi-finals on Saturday.
Mark Bathum and guide Cade Yamamoto earned silver in the the men’s super-G event, his second after winning the silver in Vancouver 2010. Heath Calhoun finished fourth in men’s sitting class. Jasmin Bambur finished seventh.
Another win and its first shutout of the tournament marked Team USA’s second day of competition. The 3-0 shutout of South Korea was achieved with two goals from Adam Page and one from Taylor Chace. The win continues the defending champion’s road to the gold as they prepare for the next match against 1-1 Russia.
About the Author: Brian Rank is a member of the Wheelchair Sports Federation media team reporting on events at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The all-volunteer media team consists of professional writers and photographers who are donating their time and expertise to showcase the athleticism of disabled U.S. athletes and highlight their world class achievements in adaptive sports. Some members of the media team are former Paralympians and wheelchair users/amputees. The Wheelchair Sports Federation is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for the disabled and wheelchair-bound adults and youth to play sports recreationally and competitively.