This morning, Turnstone Center unveiled its new Olympic and Paralympic Training Site Marks in recognition of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s commitment to inclusivity.
Inclusive Olympic & Paralympic Training Site Marks Unveiled, Goalball Athletes Named to Compete in Tokyo
Fort Wayne, Indiana (June 9, 2021) – This morning, Turnstone Center unveiled its new Olympic and Paralympic Training Site Marks in recognition of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) commitment to inclusivity, following the USOPC’s name change in the summer of 2019. In preparation for the rescheduled 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) also marked the occasion with its announcement of the men’s and women’s goalball athletes who have been named to Team USA and are slated to compete in the upcoming Paralympic Games.
“Representing the strengths of inclusion in the world of sports with the display of the Olympic Rings and Paralympic Agitos side-by-side on our campus is a testament to decades of advocacy and growth in our country as we recognize and empower athletes of all abilities,” said Mike Mushett, Turnstone CEO.
Upon announcing the organization’s name change, USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland affirmed the decision, “The decision to change the organization’s name represents a continuation of our long-standing commitment to create an inclusive environment for Team USA athletes. It represents a renewed commitment to that mission and the ideals that we seek to advance, both here at home and throughout the worldwide Olympic and Paralympic movements.”
Following the reveal of Turnstone’s updated training site marks, USABA also announced the 12 athletes selected to represent Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in the sport of goalball.
Named to the men’s team were Zach Buhler (Huntington, Ind.), John Kusku (Commerce Township,
Mich.), Tyler Merren (Coral Springs, Fla.), Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.), Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Calahan Young (Irwin, Pa.).
The women’s team members are Mindy Cook (Columbus, Ohio), Lisa Czechowski (Boonton, N.J.),
Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.), Marybai Huking (Salt Lake City, Utah), Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.) and Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.).
At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the U.S. was the only country to have both its men’s and women’s teams reach the podium as the U.S. men’s squad captured the silver medal and the women’s team claimed the bronze. Nine of the 12 athletes named on Wednesday are returning Paralympians from the Rio Games and they boast a combined 21 Paralympic Games appearances and 14 Paralympic Games medals.
Kusku, Merren, Simpson and Walker all return from the silver-medal winning men’s squad in Rio. For Merren, Tokyo will mark his fourth Paralympic Games. He also won a bronze medal at the Athens 2004 Games and was a member of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Team along with Walker, who will be participating in his third Games. Buhler and Young will be making their Paralympic Games’ debuts in Tokyo.
The U.S. men’s team is fresh off a victory over defending Paralympic champion Lithuania in the finals of the Trakai Tournament last month.
On the women’s side, the team is awash with experience with five of the six members returning from the bronze-medal winning Rio squad. Czechowski and Miller have been side-by-side for the last five Paralympic Games and Tokyo will mark their sixth straight Games together. As goalball teammates, they won silver in 2004, gold in 2008, and bronze in 2016. Prior to that they both competed in discus at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games where Czechowski was the silver medalist and Miller took the bronze. Dennis will be participating in her third straight Paralympics, while Huking and Mason will make their second straight appearance. For Cook, Tokyo will be her Paralympic debut.
The women’s team captured the silver medal in last month’s Trakai Tournament in Lithuania.
Alternates for the men’s team are Cody Carmicle (Lafayette, Ind.) and Sean Walker (Winchester, Va.), while Shavon Lockhardt (White Plains, N.Y.) will serve as alternate for the women’s team.
All selections to the Tokyo 2020 U.S. Paralympic Team are subject to approval by the United States
Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games goalball competition begins on Aug. 25 with the medal matches taking place on Sept. 3.
USA Men’s Goalball Team
Zach Buhler (Huntington, Ind.)
John Kusku (Commerce Township, Mich.)
Tyler Merren (Coral Springs, Fla.)
Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.)
Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Calahan Young (Irwin, Pa.)
Head Coach: Keith Young
Assistant Coach: James Wallace
Athletic Trainer: Adam McDowell
Athlete Alternates: Cody Carmicle (Lafayette, Ind.) and Sean Walker (Winchester, Va.)
USA Women’s Goalball Team
Mindy Cook (Columbus, Ohio)
Lisa Czechowski (Boonton, N.J.)
Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.)
Marybai Huking (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.)
Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.)
Head Coach: Jake Czechowski
Assistant Coach and Team Leader: John Potts
Athletic Trainer: Jennifer Brown
Athlete Alternate: Shavon Lockhardt (White Plains, N.Y.)
USA Goalball Team Supporting Staff
Goalball Coordinator: Linda Welborn
Strength & Conditioning: EJ Whitney and Emilee Stemmler
Resident Team Athletic Trainer: Joe Baer (Parkview Athletic Trainer)
Team Dieticians: Kate Davis and Liz Broad
Sports Psychology: Taylor Gabler (women’s team) and Ciaran Connery (men’s team)
Turnstone’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential by providing one of the most comprehensive offerings of service and programs to people with disabilities and their families under one roof in the United States. Thanks to generous support and compassionate staff, Turnstone’s legacy of advocacy and innovation continues to contribute to a world that accepts and values people based on their abilities. This legacy now includes the privilege of functioning as the home training facility for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Goalball Teams and the goalball resident program through a partnership with the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). www.turnstone.org | Twitter: @TurnstoneCenter | Facebook: Turnstone Center of Children and Adults with Disabilities | Instagram: @TurnstoneCenter
Abpit the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)
Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. In addition to providing grassroot and development opportunities in multiple sports, USABA serves as the high performance management organization for the Paralympic sport of goalball in the U.S. Through a partnership with Turnstone Center, USABA established the first-ever long-term goalball resident program in the country where members of U.S. Men’s and Women’s Goalball National Teams train full-time. USABA’s mission: to empower Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation and physical activity, thereby educating and inspiring the nation. www.usaba.org | Twitter: @USABA | Facebook: United States Association of Blind Athletes