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Nine Paralympic Medalists Headline U.S. Goalball Teams Selected for Tokyo 2020 Qualifier in Fort Wayne

May 2nd, 2019

Nine Paralympic Medalists Headline U.S. Goalball Teams Selected for Tokyo 2020 Qualifier in Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (April 29, 2019) – The U.S. men’s and women’s goalball teams will put experienced squads on the floor this July as they attempt to qualify for next year’s Paralympic Games during the IBSA International Qualifier in Fort Wayne, Ind. A total of nine Paralympic medalists – four on the men’s team and five on the women’s squad – will do battle with an international field during the July 2-9 event held at the Turnstone Center and the Indiana Institute of Technology.

Three-time Paralympic goalball medalists Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.) and Lisa Czechowski (Boonton, N.J) lead the women’s team. Both are five-time Paralympians, winning medals together in Athens in 2004 (silver), Beijing in 2008 (gold) and Rio in 2016 (bronze). They will be joined by three of their bronze-medal winning teammates from Rio: Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.), Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.) and Marybai Huking (Plain City, Utah). Rounding out the women’s team is Shavon Lockhardt (Brooklyn, N.Y.), with Ali Lawson (Jasper, Ga.) serving as the alternate.

“To have the opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games in front of our friends and family is a dream come true,” said U.S. Women’s Coach Jake Czechowski. “The team is training hard and will be ready to defend our home court.”

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games silver medalists Tyler Merren (Coral Springs, Fla.), John Kusku (Commerce Township, Mich.), Joseph Hamilton (Sacramento, Calif.) and Andrew Jenks (Wilmington, Del.) will be joined by Calahan Young (Irwin, Pa.) and Joshua Welborn (Birmingham, Ala.) to form the U.S. men’s team. Merren is a three-time Paralympian, having also won a bronze medal in goalball at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.

“It’s a very unique privilege to have the opportunity to represent the USA on our home soil,” U.S. Men’s Coach Matt Boyle commented. “I am sure the men who have been selected will not disappoint.”

Fields of 16 men’s and 16 women’s goalball teams are expected to participate in the IBSA Goalball and Blind Judo International Qualifier in Fort Wayne scheduled for this summer, June 28-July 9. The top two goalball teams in each gender not already qualified for Tokyo will earn berths to next year’s Paralympic Games. Additional event information can be found at www.IBSAFortWayne2019.com.

 

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ABOUT TURNSTONE:  Founded in 1943, Turnstone’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential by providing one of the most comprehensive offerings of services and programs to people with disabilities and their families under one roof in the United States. Thanks to generous support and compassionate staff, Turnstone’s legacy of advocacy and innovation continues to contribute to a world that accepts and values people based on their abilities. Turnstone's scope of impact has evolved to include being a member of United States Olympic family as one of the United States Olympic Committee's designated Training Sites and home to USA Goalball through a partnership with the United States Association of Blind Athletes. www.turnstone.org | Twitter: @TurnstoneCenter | Facebook: Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities  | Instagram: @TurnstoneCenter

 

ABOUT U.S. ASSOCIATION OF BLIND ATHLETES: Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. In addition to providing grassroots and development opportunities in multiple sports, USABA serves as the high-performance management organization for the Paralympic sport of goalball in the U.S. Through a partnership with Turnstone Center, USABA established the first-ever long-term goalball resident program in the country where members of U.S. Men’s and Women’s Goalball National Teams train full-time. USABA’s mission: to empower Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation, and physical activity, thereby educating and inspiring the nation. www.usaba.org | Twitter: @USABA | Facebook: United States Association of Blind Athletes


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