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Formerly the U.S. Paralympics Ski & Snowboard Team, the U.S. Para Alpine and Para Snowboard teams are now a part of U.S. Ski & Snowboard - the National Governing Body for skiing and snowboarding in the United States. With this move, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team welcomes a remarkable group of Para athletes who have excelled in their respective disciplines. The integration of the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team and U.S. Para Snowboard Team into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard landscape further solidifies the organization's dedication to providing comprehensive support and resources to all athletes, including elite coaching, sport science, sports medicine, as well as high performance staff.


Competitors are divided into three main categories: sitting, standing and visually impaired. Each category is then divided into classes based on functional ability resulting from the degree and type of disability. Each class is scored based on a percentage factor relative to the strongest class in the category. The competitor’s actual race time is adjusted, and the fastest adjusted time is the winner.

Visually impaired: A guide skis ahead of the competitor alerting them vocally or over a radio headset of all corners, inclines, declines or other course alterations. In the biathlon events, an auditory system is used to guide the competitor toward the target.

Sitting: This category includes athletes with lower-extremity disabilities. In Alpine skiing, a mono-ski is used. In Nordic skiing, a sit ski is used. Both a sit ski and a mono ski are specially designed chairs made to attach to a ski or pair of skis.

Standing: Most competitors have a limb deficiency such as an amputation or impairment dealing with either neurological or muscle. Some alpine racers use outriggers for balance. Currently, this is the only category available for Snowboard competitors. Their categories are based on their functional ability, either lower-limb or upper-limb impaired athletes.


U.S. Para Nordic skier

U.S. Para Nordic skier

Meet the Para Nordic Team

Nordic Skiing includes cross-country skiing and biathlon events. Cross-country races range from 800 meter sprints to 20 kilometer distances, depending on class and gender. Biathlon combines elements of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Athletes ski three or five loops, stopping after each loop to shoot at targets. Paralympic Nordic competitions are open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation/limb loss, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke.


U.S. Para Alpine Skier

U.S. Para Alpine Skier

Para Alpine skiing, as in Olympic alpine skiing, the goal is to navigate a course by skiing within gates and crossing the finish line in the fastest time. Over the years, events were added for sit skiers and visually impaired skiers, and the program was expanded to include the five races familiar to fans of alpine skiing at the Olympic level. Para alpine skiing includes: Alpine Combined, Downhill, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super G. 

Alpine skiers are separated into three groups: sitting, standing and visually impaired. There are additional classifications within each group that skiers compete under. 


U.S. Para Snowboarder

U.S. Para Snowboarder

Meet the Para Snowboard Team

Para snowboarding shares multiple events and a lot of the same skills that are showcased at the Winter Olympics every four years.Snowboarding officially became a Paralympic sport for the Sochi Games in 2014. Now every four years, athletes from three different classifications compete in two different events to try to earn a spot on the podium. 

There are two events in para snowboarding, banked slalom and snowboardcross and three different classifications for Para snowboarding: UL, LL1 and LL2.


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