2022 Winter Paralympics: 5 Incredible Athletes to Watch

Published on January 28, 2022

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BEIJING, CHINA, JANUARY 1, 2022: Background for winter olympic game in Beijing 2022. Olympic stadium in background

The 2022 Winter Paralympics are taking place from March 4th to 13th following the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Where Will the Paralympic Games Be Held in 2022?

The Paralympics are taking place in Beijing, China. Beijing hosted the Paralympic Games in 2008, and this is the first time they’ve hosted the Paralympic Winter Games.   

While many countries announced they will be engaging in a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics and Paralympics due to the Chinese government’s alleged human rights violations, that doesn’t mean their athletes won’t be bringing their A game to the event.

More than 700 athletes are competing in the Paralympic Winter Games in 82 medal events. The 2022 Winter Paralympics will include five sports: Para-alpine skiing, Para Nordic skiing (Para biathlon and Para cross-country skiing), Para ice hockey, Para snowboard and wheelchair curling.

Five Athletes to Watch at the 2022 Winter Paralympics

If the 2021 Paralympics were any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for more inspiring moments at this year’s Paralympic Winter Games. Without further ado, here are five athletes to watch at the 2022 Winter Paralympics:   

1. Andrew Kurka

Before breaking his back at the age of 13, Alaska native Andrew Kurka was a five-time state champion in wrestling with dreams of one day competing at the Olympics. He continued wrestling after sustaining his injury, but he would later find a new passion in Para-alpine skiing. Kurka took home a gold medal in 2018, making him the first Alaska native to win a Paralympic medal.

2. Brittani Coury

After breaking her ankle while snowboarding in 2003 and suffering through multiple complicated surgeries, Brittani Coury made the difficult decision to amputate her leg below the knee. She later joined the world of Paralympic snowboarding, and in 2018, Coury took home a silver medal in Para snowboarding. Even more impressive, as a registered nurse, she recently volunteered in the COVID-19 hospital ward in Salt Lake City to ease the burden on healthcare workers.

3. Declan Farmer

Born a bilateral amputee, sled hockey player Declan Farmer has competed in two Paralympic Games, once in Sochi at the age of 16, and the other in PyeongChang. At both events, Farmer played a key role in the team’s gold medal winning games, scoring the winning goal against Canada with only three and a half minutes to spare.

4. Kendall Gretsch

After taking home a gold medal in paratriathlon at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, Kendall Gretsch is ready to compete once again at the upcoming 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing. At her Paralympic debut in PyeongChang 2018, the athlete set a record as the first American to take home biathlon gold at the Paralympics or the Olympics.

5. Lisa Bunschoten

Dutch Para-snowboard athlete Lisa Bunschoten is here to inspire others to live their dream. After winning a silver medal in snowboard cross, a bronze medal in banked slalom, and the overall World Cup Title in 2019, Bunschoten is certainly living proof of this inspiring maxim. Along with her teammate Renske van Beek, Bunschoten recently founded Adaptive Board Chicks to help inspire future generations of female Para snowboarders.

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.