Thursday, September 6, 2007

Countdown starts for Paralympics

The 2008 Paralympics begin a year from today in Beijing.

About 4,000 disabled athletes (250 from the U.S.) will compete Sept. 6-17, 2008, in 19 sports, including cycling, fencing, sitting volleyball, table tennis and wheelchair rugby.

China led the 2004 Paralympics with 141 medals, 63 of them gold. The U.S. was fourth with 88 total medals and 27 golds.

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the Colorado Springs-based U.S. Olympic Committee, will send 35 student-athletes with physical disabilities to the Paralympics from Sept. 4-12, 2008, through a newly created program. Participants will attend the opening ceremonies and several competitions and meet U.S. Paralympians.

To participate, student-athletes (ages 12-18) must fill out an application, which includes a 500-word essay, and submit letters of recommendation. Applications are available at The application deadline is April 1, 2008.

UCCS student to ride at mountain bike worlds

Colorado Springs rider Sam Jurekovic will compete Friday at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Fort William, Scotland.

Jurekovic, a member of the USA Cycling National Development Team, will join Boulder's Colin Cares, Durango's Tad Elliott, Mitchell Peterson, of Sandy, Utah, and Sam Schultz, of Missoula, Mont., in the under-23 men's cross country competition.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs student is coming off a win at the Mountain Bike National Championships in July in West Dover, Vt. He won a bronze medal at the Pan American Championships in March in Argentina.

Springs boxer loses at cadet worlds

Colorado Springs boxer Joey Montoya lost in the quarterfinals of the Cadet World Championships on Tuesday in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Montoya, a Junior Olympic national champion, dropped a 29-11 decision to Puerto Rico's Keith Tapia in the 176-pound division. He received a bye in the first round.

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