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United States snowboard team departs for Russian hosted Winter Deaflympics

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People in Team USA winter coats

Jenny Berrigan, Blair Tucker Esson, Lauren Weibert, Kyle Emard, Nixo Lanning and Sean Esson in New York before departing. Image credit: Jeff Pollock

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.


People going through airport security

The team gets their bags inspected at the airport. Image credit: Jeff Pollock

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.




Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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