NewsCovering Colorado


Colorado sends 10 athletes — more than any other state — to the 2022 Winter Paralympics

Mike Minor
Posted at 2:23 PM, Feb 21, 2022

Colorado Paralympians are ready to make a splash of their own in the wake of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Sixty-seven people, including two guides, will represent Team USA at the Winter Paralympics, with 10 from Colorado. Colorado is sending more people to the Winter Paralympics than any other state.

The Winter Paralympics include six sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, para/sled ice hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling. The competitions start March 4 and last through March 13.

Meet the Coloradans representing Team USA in the 2022 Winter Paralympics below.

Editor's note: While some of the featured athletes are currently training or temporarily living out of state, all of them have submitted Colorado towns and cities as their recognized hometown or birthplace, or train in Colorado long-term, but have a permanent home elsewhere.

Jasmin Bambur | Alpine skiing | Granby

These Winter Games mark Bambur's fourth time competing at the Winter Olympics, and he is hungry for a spot on the podium.

He placed 12th in the super combined in 2018, 7th in the super-G and 17th in the giant slalom in 2014, and 9th in downhill in 2010.

He was born in Zrenjanin, Serbia and became the country's first Winter Paralympian in 2010. That same year, he became a U.S. citizen and started competing for the United States, according to Team USA.

Bambur, now 42, became a paraplegic after a car crash. He was inspired to pursue athletics after meeting 1992 Paralympic gold medalist and track racer Bert Burns.

He is fluent in five languages.

UPDATE: Bambur finished 4th in men's slalom sitting. He finished 14th in men's giant slalom sitting.

Tyler Carter | Alpine skiing | Colorado Springs

As the Winter Paralympic Games near, Carter, 28, wrote in an article for Team USA: "It is with those thoughts in mind I approach my attempt at making a third and final Paralympic Team for the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022."

He has spent the past 15 years racing and competing, and the past three years have been particularly tough due to injuries and various other setbacks. While he said he is going to Beijing in hopes of a gold medal, he added that "I have learned over the years that success can and often should mean more. It is giving 100% of your effort. Doing your absolute best, no matter what form that takes. At the end of the day, if I can look back and say I did everything possible and left it all on the field (or slopes), then I was successful."

He said he is excited to see how the Paralympics have grown over the past few decades, and the increased viewership and interest.

Carter works at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

UPDATE: Carter competed in the super-G portion of the race but did not finish. He finished 33rd in men's giant slalom standing. He also finished 31st in men's downhill standing.

Ralph DeQuebe | Sled hockey | Denver 

DeQuebe, a defenseman on the men's U.S. sled hockey team, was born in Harbor City, California and now calls Denver home.

He is headed to his second Paralympics after the team won the gold medal in 2018.

DeQuebe became a bilateral above-knee amputee after he was injured in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2012, according to Team USA. He received the Purple Heart.

He is a member of the Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey team.

UPDATE: The U.S. sled hockey team won gold.

Allie Johnson | Alpine skiing | Fraser

Johnson will make her Paralympic debut in Beijing this February.

She placed fifth in the women's super-G standing category at the final world cup competition in Sweden and 10th in the super-G at the world championships in Lillehammer, according to Team USA.

She was born with an underdeveloped right arm.

During the summer months, she works as a therapeutic horse riding instructor at the National Sports Center for the Disabled.

She now lives outside Chicago.

UPDATE: Johnson finished 12th in the women's giant slalom. She finished 14th in the super-G. She did not finish for super combined and slalom.

Malik Jones | Sled hockey | Denver

Jones, 19, is a double amputee and has played as a teenager as a member of the Colorado Avalanche sled hockey team. He is one of the newest members of the U.S. sled hockey team, which has high hopes for a gold medal, Team USA said.

They are the three-time defending Paralympic champions.

He was named as one of the top Team USA Paralympians to watch in Beijing.

UPDATE: The U.S. sled hockey team won gold.

Zach Miller | Snowboarding | Silverthorne

Miller, a world champion, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was a baby, but as a child, it didn't stop him from stepping on a snowboard when he was 6 years old, according to Team USA. When he was 14, he joined Adaptive Action Sports in Copper Mountain to pursue a career as an elite Para snowboarder.

By 2018 at the age of 21, the Colorado native had won eight world cup medals in snowboarding. Most recently, he won the World Para Snow Sports Championships for his category. It was his first career world championship gold medal, Team USA reported.

“I’m over the moon,” Miller told Team USA. “Today was a roller coaster and I’m so happy to be a world champion. The team absolutely killed it today, three titles and multiple medals, everyone went out and did their best. I am so thankful for everyone that supported me today, and those watching and supporting from home.”

He told Team USA his one goal in Beijing is to make the podium.

UPDATE: Miller finished 11th in snowboardcross and 15th in banked slalom.

Mike Minor | Snowboarding | Frisco

Minor, who was born in Pennsylvania and now calls Frisco home, is a team member of Adaptive Action Sports.

He competed in the 2018 Winter Games, where he won a gold medal in the banked slalom and a bronze medal in snowboardcross, according to Team USA.

He was born without his right forearm and wore a prosthetic until he was 5 years old, when he decided it was more of a hindrance than helpful. He took up snowboarding when he was 7 years old.

He worked as a life attendant at Copper Mountain before he was asked to join Adaptive Action Sports as a competitor. He made his international debut in 2015.

UPDATE: Minor landed in 8th in banked slalom and 11th in snowboardcross.

Kyle Taulman | Alpine skiing | Golden

The Beijing Winter Olympics will mark Taulman's first time on the world stage.

His family moved to Colorado after a high-risk neuroblastoma wrapped around his spinal cord and left him paralyzed when he was 2 years old, according to Team USA. Once he was in the Rocky Mountains, he took up ski racing.

The 19-year-old finished 12th in the super-G at the final world cup in Sweden.

He is a sophomore at CU Boulder.

UPDATE: Taulman slid near the top of the course and did not finish in the slalom event.

Thomas Walsh | Alpine skiing | Vail

Walsh was named to the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing team on Feb. 16, along with 17 other Americans.

He began skiing when he was 2 years old and picked up ski racing by the age of 5 at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. He became involved in Para alpine skiing in 2013 with the Aspen Valley Ski Club Adaptive Alpine Development Program, after he was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in May 2009. This cancerous tumor grew in his bones and the tissue around his bones, and he underwent surgery in October of that year to remove bones from his pelvis. He had his final radiation treatment in June 2010, according to Team USA.

He finished 5th in slalom, 7th in giant slalom and 13th in super-G at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

UPDATE: Walsh finished 4th in the Super Combined, the same result he won at January’s world championships. He won the silver medal in the men's giant slalom, which was Team USA's first alpine medal in the Paralympics. He also finished 6th in slalom and 15th in the super-G.

Pam Wilson | Paralympic curler | Denver

Pam Wilson
Pam Wilson, Team USA

It's never too late to pick up a new hobby or get your first gold medal.

Wilson, a physician at Children's Hospital Colorado, is about to travel to Beijing for the 2022 Paralympic Games and participate on the Team USA Wheelchair Curling squad as an alternate, just 10 years after first trying the sport. At 66, she is the most senior athlete competing for Team USA.

Denver7 spoke with Wilson in mid-January ahead of the Winter Games. You can watch that interview here.

Wilson suffered a spinal cord injury in her 20s from a car accident. She then discovered sports as an outlet and has fallen in love with curling.

UPDATE: The U.S. wheelchair curling team picked up 5th place, tied for its second-best finish ever, according to Team USA.