Athletes from three sports are in Minneapolis this week to compete to represent the United States at the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Team trials for track and field, swimming and cycling will take place Thursday through Saturday, with the Paralympic teams announced Sunday.
Spectators will not be permitted, but trials are available to stream for free on Peacock, the NBC Olympics website and the NBC Sports app. A full schedule of events is available at teamusa.org.
The trials were delayed a year by the pandemic. The Paralympics are Aug. 24-Sept. 5.
Swimming events will be held Thursday through Saturday at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota. Swimmers compete in 12 events ranging from the 50-meter backstroke to the 200 individual medley to the 400 freestyle.
Athletes to watch: University of Minnesota alumna and Eagan native Mallory Weggemann is entered in six events as she seeks to qualify for her third Paralympic Games. She won gold and bronze at the London Games in 2012 and was selected for the U.S. team in 2016. Edina's Natalie Sims also competed in 2016, placing eighth in the 400 freestyle. Summer Schmit, 17, of Grant will be trying to reach for her first Paralympic Games.
Track and Field
Breck High School in Golden Valley will host track and field trials Thursday through Saturday.
Athletes to watch: Josh Cinnamo of Lakeville holds the world-record throw of 16.8 meters in shot put. He won gold at both the 2019 Parapan American Games and the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships but has never competed at the Paralympic Games. Aaron Pike of Park Rapids will try to qualify for his fifth Paralympics. Irondale alum Mark Braun, who was among the first to compete in MSHSL wheelchair track and field, will compete in the 100 meters. Tatyana McFadden, a 17-time Paralympic medalist, is also competing at the trials and is expected to enter races at several distances.
The route begins near the Guthrie Theater and follows the West River Parkway Trail. Individual time trials will begin 9 a.m. Saturday with the 14.3 km course. The 29.1 km course will follow, and the 17.0 km course will end the day. Fifty-six athletes will compete on standard bicycles, tricycles and handcycles, while cyclists with vision impairment ride tandem bicycles with a sighted pilot.
Athletes to watch: Oksana Masters, who has won Paralympic medals in Nordic skiing and rowing, is eyeing a first medal in cycling after debuting in the sport in 2016. The field also includes Shawn Morelli, a gold medalist in Rio, and Will Groulx, a gold medalist in wheelchair rugby and cycling. Travis Gaertner, a two-time gold medalist in wheelchair basketball for Canada, is trying to make the U.S. team for the first time as a cyclist.