U.S. Paralympics Swimming Names 33 Athletes to 2023 Parapan American Games Roster
by Kristen Gowdy
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – U.S. Paralympics Swimming today announced the 33 athletes – 19 women and 14 men – who will represent Team USA at the 2023 Parapan American Games this November in Santiago, Chile.
Per the team’s selection procedures, athletes who competed at the 2023 Para Swimming World Championships for the U.S. are not eligible to compete at the Parapan American Games, and more than half of the team will be making their first appearance at a major international competition.
The U.S. will be led by an experienced core of veterans that includes Paralympic and world champions. Nine Paralympians headline the roster for Team USA.
“We are very optimistic about this team and excited to see many of our younger athletes getting to represent Team USA for the first time,” Erin Popovich, Director, U.S. Paralympics Swimming, said. “They will be looking to the athletes who have been on this stage before, and I have no doubt the experience that group brings will be extremely helpful as many of our newer athletes make their debuts.”
Six-time Paralympic medalist McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) made the 2023 world championships roster, but missed the competition due to medical reasons. The 16-time world championships medalist earns her spot on the Parapans team as she looks to qualify for her fourth Paralympic Games next summer.
Coan will be joined by five-time Paralympic medalist Mallory Weggemann (Eagan, Minnesota), who will return to the pool for the first time for Team USA since the birth of her daughter, Charlotte, earlier in the year. The Parapan American Games will be Weggemann’s first international meet since she went on maternity leave.
Fellow Paralympic champions Evan Austin (Terre Haute, Indiana) and Mikaela Jenkins (Evansville, Indiana) will also suit up for Team USA in Santiago. Austin last competed on the international stage at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, where he won his first Paralympic title in the men’s 50-meter freestyle S7.
Jenkins, meanwhile, was named to the world championships team for 2023 but opted out due to academic commitments. The Grove City College swimmer and two-time Paralympic champion will compete for Team USA instead in Santiago.
Fellow 2020 Paralympians Abbas Karimi (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Keegan Knott (Lake Villa, Illinois), Zach Shattuck (Mount Airy, Maryland), Haven Shepherd (Carthage, Missouri), Natalie Sims (Edina, Minnesota) and Madelyn White (Bishop, Georgia) also qualified for the Parapan team. They will be joined by a host of athletes making their debuts for Team USA. A full team roster can be found below.
Taking place once every four years, the Parapan American Games bring together North and South American countries for a multi-sport competition less than a year out from the Paralympic Games. The 2023 edition will feature 18 sports and is set to run from November 17-26.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
2023 U.S. Parapan American Games Roster
Yaseen El Demerdash
*Per the Santiago Parapan American Games Qualification Guide, athletes who have a Review or Review 2023 or Prior status have been provisionally selected to the team pending the athlete’s attending a classification evaluation prior to or during the Games.
^Added to the roster on a later date via the bipartite invitation commission.