Paralympic champions headline 2023 Para Nordic World Championships Roster
by Kristen Gowdy
Kendall Gretsch competes in biathlon at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. (Photo: Mark Reis/USOPC)
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing today announced the six athletes and one guide who will represent Team USA at the upcoming 2023 FIS Para Nordic Skiing World Championships in Östersund, Sweden. Competition, which includes three biathlon and four cross-country races, runs from January 21-29 at the Östersund Ski Stadium.
An experienced group of athletes is set to build on a massively successful 2022 season that saw Team USA bring home 16 medals at the World Para Snow Sports Championships before combining for 14 medals at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Every athlete named to the 2023 world championships roster competed at both major events last season.
“We are extremely excited to kick off the 2026 Paralympic quad with this group of athletes at the helm of our program,” Eileen Carey, U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing’s director, said. “Everyone on this team has a wealth of experience in the sport, and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the table in Sweden. Their example and leadership will propel our team forward as we set our sights on Milan-Cortina in 2026.”
Headlining the roster are four athletes who topped the Paralympic podium in Beijing, including
six-time Paralympic medalist Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Illinois), who has a quick turnaround after a silver medal performance at the paratriathlon world championships in November. Gretsch made the podium three times in Beijing and will look to add to her 14 career world championship medals.
Seven-time Paralympic medalist Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas) and six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) will represent Team USA in the men’s sitting classification. Cnossen, a retired Navy SEAL, most recently won a gold medal at the 2022 Paralympics as part of the mixed cross-country relay team. The three-time Paralympian has two world championship medals to his name.
Pike, a dual-sport athlete who also competes in track and field, won silver in the individual biathlon at last year’s world championships. He is also coming off a successful wheelchair marathon season.
After coming out of retirement for the 2022 Paralympic Games, four-time Paralympic medalist Jake Adicoff (Sun Valley, Idaho) returns to the world championship stage alongside guide Sam Wood (Harpswell, Maine). The duo took home a gold and two silvers in Beijing, as well as three medals at last year’s world championships, which were Adicoff’s first at the world championships level.
Rounding out the 2023 team are women’s standing skiers Sydney Peterson (Lake Elmo, Minnesota) and Dani Aravich (Boise, Idaho). Relatively new to Para Nordic, Peterson broke onto the scene last season by securing three Paralympic medals and three world championships podiums. A junior at St. Lawrence University, Peterson also competes on her school’s varsity team.
A two-time Paralympian, Aravich joined Gretsch and Pike on both the Tokyo and Beijing Paralympic teams. She ran track alongside Pike in Tokyo but recently announced that she is shifting her focus to compete exclusively in Nordic. She recorded two top-10 finishes at in Beijing, as well as two top-eight results at last year’s world championships.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
2023 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing World Championships Team
Sam Wood (guide)