Sydney Peterson wins bronze in the women’s 15 kilometer standing cross country race during the World Para Snow Sports Championships on January 18, 2022 in Lillehammer, Norway.
US Paralympic Nordic skiing received some good news on Friday, three weeks before the start of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
Standing skier Sydney Peterson has been added to the US Nordic Ski Team after being invited to compete in Beijing by World Para Nordic Skiing and the International Paralympic Committee.
Peterson, a 19-year-old sophomore on the St. Lawrence University Nordic Ski Team, will make her Paralympic debut in Beijing. It will give Team USA a total of 15 Nordic athletes to compete in the Winter Games.
Peterson won two silver medals and a bronze at the World Para Snow Sports Championships last month in Lillehammer, Norway. However, his place in Beijing has remained uncertain as WPNS and the IPC have considered his case over the past few weeks.
Peterson, a native of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, is new to adaptive sports. She has only competed in one World Cup event this season before heading to Lillehammer for the World Championships.
Since Peterson hasn’t held a WPNS license long enough to qualify for the Games, she had to get approval from the Bipartisan Invitational Commission to earn a spot at the Paralympic Winter Games.
“I am so thrilled to be able to announce that our team is finally complete,” said Eileen Carey, director of US Paralympics Nordic Skiing. “We knew Sydney had the strongest possible bid for a bipartisan invitation, and we are delighted to have it validated today.
“She brought so much to our team at the World Championships in Lillehammer and will be an integral part of our team in Beijing.”
Peterson had a strong performance in the cross-country events at the world championships, although this was only her second international competition.
She won a silver medal in the women’s 10 kilometer standing on January 13. Nine days later, she won her second silver medal in the sprint. She also won a bronze medal in the distance race.
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming to the world championships,” Peterson told US Paralympics Nordic Skiing. “I just wanted to gain experience, but it’s been a lot of fun.”
The late addition of Peterson bolsters a US Para-Nordic ski team that is expected to compete for multiple medals in Beijing. It is led by gold medalists Oksana Masters, Kendall Gretsch and Dan Cnossen.
US Paralympics Nordic Skiing recently named the other 14 members of the team, which includes 13 athletes and guide Sam Wood, who races with visually impaired skier Jake Adicoff.
Team USA will begin competing in Para-Nordic ski racing on March 5th.