Team USA will go for the gold as the 2013 World Wheelchair Championship gets underway Saturday at the 2013 World Wheelchair Championship at the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi, Russia.
Team USA's five-person team is composed of 2010 Paralympian Patrick McDonald (Madison, Wis.); David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.), a member of Team USA in 2012; two-time Paralympian Jimmy Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.); Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.), a member of the last two world teams and a 2004 Paralympian in sitting volleyball; and 28-year-old Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.), who will make her debut as a member of the national team.
The team starts off the nine-game round robin against China at 9:30 a.m. (local time). The opening ceremony will follow the first round of games. Other competing countries include Canada, Finland, Korea, Finland, Norway, Scotland, Slovakia and Sweden.
The round robin continues through Thursday with the playoffs starting Friday afternoon. The U.S. is seeking its first-ever gold medal at the World Championship. The USA's best finish was bronze in 2008.
To view Team USA's schedule and to follow along throughout the event, go to http://wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com.
Team USA finished fifth at last year's world wheelchair event and secured essential qualifying points for the U.S. for the 2014 Paralympic Games. The Americans are in good shape to earn a berth for the Paralympic Games as they are in sixth place in the qualification standings and will earn a minimum of a single qualification point by competing in the 2013 world championship. Countries earn points at the three world wheelchair championships in the lead-up to the Paralympic Winter Games. The 10 qualified nations will be formally announced after the 2013 world event. For a complete look at the qualification standings, please visit the World Curling Federation website at http://www.worldcurling.org/curling-at-the-paralympics.