Earlier today, the United States deaf snowboard team departed New York City’s JFK airport on their way to Magnitogorsk, Russia for the Winter Deaflympics scheduled to officially get underway this Saturday.
The team includes Jeff Pollock, Jenny Berrigan, Blair Tucker Esson, Lauren Weibert, Kyle Emard, Nixo Lanning and Sean Esson.
Some members of the team, including Utah based Pollock, arrived in New York a few days early and had the opportunity to meet with teammates before departure.
Pollock is a returning Deaflympic competitor. He was at the 1999 Games, 2003 Games and 2007 Games. He has medaled in every Games he competed in. Lanning competed at the 2003 and 2007 Games, claiming medals in both Games. He is also a summer Deaflympics athlete, competing at the 2001 Games in handball where he won silver and the 2009 Deaflympics where he won gold in basketball.
Snowboarding was added to the Winter Deaflympics program in 1999. Four new disciplines have been added for the 2005 edition of the Games, including men’s and women’s Slopestyle and Snowboard Cross.