30 Physically Disabled Student Athletes Earn Trips to the 2005 National Paralympic Academy at the Olympic Training Center

In Sports, Wheelin' and Dealin' by Beth Bourgeois

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is pleased to announce that 30 student athletes with physical disabilities have been selected to attend the 2005 National Paralympic Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., August 15-18.

The National Paralympic Academy is a biennial event designed to recognize excellence in local Paralympic sport programming. This two-day celebration of sport will bring together student athletes (ages 12-18), coaches and program directors from Paralympic organizations across the country to share best practices, discuss Olympic and Paralympic ideals and to be inspired by Paralympians facilitating the Academy programs.

Student athletes will also participate in sports clinics, competition and educational seminars.

“The National Paralympic Academy is a great opportunity to introduce children with physical disabilities to Paralympic sport,” said John Register, manager, Paralympic Academy and two-time Paralympian. “By working directly with Paralympic athletes,
these students will learn what they’re capable of achieving athletically and ultimately, increase the number of children with physical disabilities who participate in health and wellness programs in their home state.”

Student athletes were selected to attend the 2005 National Paralympic Academy based on their essays themed, What Ability Means to Me. Essays were judged by Paralympic Academy state partners and national Paralympic organizations.

Coaches and program directors have been selected by U.S. Paralympics based on their history of success in conducting Paralympic sport programs for youth.

The Paralympic Academy is a three-tier program with state, national and international components. State Paralympic Academies are hosted by sport organizations in each state that specialize in Paralympic programs.

The national Paralympic Academy is held in odd-numbered years at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, while the international Paralympic Academy is held at the Paralympic Games in the even-numbered years.

The next international Paralympic Academy will be held in March 2006 at the Paralympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

Student athletes participating in the 2005 National Paralympic Academy include:

Tod Apedaile (Richmond, Utah)
Cheryl Brown (Lone Jack, Mo.)
Caitlin Chasar (Austin, Texas)
Sam Craven (San Jose, Calif.)
Shawna Culp (Wheaton, Ill.)
Claire Forrest (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Eric Gissendanner (Burlington, Vt.)
Master Hinkle (Deatsville, Ala.)
Erica Hosteltler (Lakewood, Colo.)
Kaleb Kallappa (Vancouver, Wash.)
Erin Kelahan (Palmer, Alaska)
Sara Koehnke (Highland Park, Ill.)
Stephen Lawor (Burlington, Vt.)
Joma Leonard (Union City, Ga.)
Cody Mace (Spokane, Wash.)
Jordan McNicholl (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Kristen Messer (Austin, Texas
Dwayne L. Murray (Shelby Township, Mich.)
Anthony Napolitano (Fenton, Mich.)
Tanner Pearson (Lithia Springs, Ga.)
Anthony Rennpage (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.)
Sam Robson (Westport, Conn.)
Caitlin Sarubbi (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Greg Shaw (Park City, Utah)
Austin Slaymaker (Blanchard, Okla.)
MacKenzie Soldan (Louisville, Ky.)
Kasey Stelter (Kasota, Minn.)
Chris Taylor (Spokane, Wash.)
Leanne Whitmore (Palmer, Alaska)
Joseph Wise (Menlo Park, Calif.)

For more information, please contact Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics at (719)866-2039 or beth.bourgeois@usoc.org.

About U.S. Paralympics:

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and promoting excellence in the lives of persons with physical disabilities.