The 2022 Winter Paralympic Games will take place in Beijing starting on Friday, Mar. 4 and ending on Sunday, Mar. 13. This legendary sporting event brings together hundreds of athletes competing in six different winter sports. Learn more about 2022 Paralympians diagnosed with cerebral palsy and how your family can watch the games.
Over 600 Paralympians Set to Compete in China
The Paralympic Games have a rich history and can inspire many children with disabilities to shoot for the stars and follow their dreams.
The 2022 Winter Paralympics will feature over 600 athletes from 23 nations participating in six winter sports.
The sporting events in this year’s Paralympics include:
- Alpine skiing
- Biathlon (Nordic skiing and rifle shooting)
- Cross-country skiing
- Para ice hockey
- Wheelchair curling
Alpine skiing is the headliner of the Paralympic Games. 140 men and 80 women athletes are able to participate. This marks a 7.7% and 33% growth of available spots for athletes compared to the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
List of 2022 Winter Paralympians With Cerebral Palsy
Athletes with a variety of different impairments and disabilities may qualify to compete in the Paralympics, including those with cerebral palsy.
There are several athletes competing in this year’s competition who have been diagnosed with different types of cerebral palsy. Despite their diagnosis, these Paralympians followed their dreams to become some of the best athletes in their sport.
Learn more about some of the 2022 Winter Paralympic hopefuls with cerebral palsy below.
Paige Van Arsdale
Paige Van Arsdale will compete in alpine skiing on behalf of the United States of America. Van Arsdale was diagnosed with hemiplegic spastic cerebral palsy when she was two years old. Her hemiplegia affects the right side of her body, and has made her right leg shorter than her left.
She had multiple procedures to fix her calf, hamstring, kneecap, and thigh bone to move her leg outwards to improve mobility.
“If I have success when I try something, then I know I did what I could do. If I don't have success at a sport, then I just keep working my hardest to get better at it."
-Paige Van Arsdale
Her parents encouraged her to start skiing at Steamboat Ski Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. When she isn’t training, she can be found swimming and running cross-country.
Massachusetts native Connor Hogan is set to compete for the United States of America in alpine skiing.
Hogan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 18 months old. His condition was caused by an in-utero stroke affecting his frontal lobe. This stroke resulted in limited mobility on the right side of his body.
Hogan started skiing at Bromley Mountain in Vermont at a young age, and began competing at the age of seven. He was inspired to start the sport by his parents, who were avid skiers.
“Skiing was the place where I fit in and was just another kid. It was never something I felt different doing. Unless [people] knew, they didn't know I had a disability."
Beijing marks Hogan’s second time competing in the Paralympic Games. He placed 24th in the giant slalom at the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeongchang.
Rae Anderson is an alpine skier competing on behalf of Australia. Anderson was diagnosed with hemiplegic cerebral palsy at age one. Her condition affects the left side of her body.
She underwent several surgeries for her cerebral palsy and botox injections in order to regain mobility of the left side of her body. Anderson notes she played several types of sports with peers who did not have disabilities, which motivated her to become a Paralympian.
Anderson is one of the few Paralympians to compete in both the Summer and Winter Paralympics. She competed in the discus and javelin events at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Anderson placed 5th in the F37 javelin event and 8th in the F38 discus event.
Anderson said she always had a passion for skiing and decided to focus on alpine skiing after competing at the 2017 World Championships in London.
“My desire to achieve and support others to greatness through my story and accomplishments is what truly keeps me motivated. I have come a long way and to be succeeding at this level for me, that is the motivation. I am grateful every day."
In 2014, Anderson was named Sportsperson with an Impairment of the Year at the Central Coast Sports Federation Awards. She also won Best Female Performance of the Year Award from Mingara Athletics in Tumbi Umbi, NSW, Australia in 2015.
Logan Knowles is an alpine skier representing the United States of America. Knowles developed cerebral palsy caused by lack of oxygen (hypoxia).
Knowles started walking at age four with adaptive equipment. He learned to ski at age six at the Greek Peak Adaptive Ski Program in Cortland, NY.
Knowles said he knew he was destined for mountain sports when he was watching Shaun White’s snowboarding skills. Although he suffered from immense pain due to his condition, he learned how to ski without support.
“I concluded that if I ever wanted to become the skier that I wanted to be, I would have to start putting the hard work into my life. I love skiing so much, if I could ski every day of my life I would."
Andrew Haraghey is an alpine skier competing on behalf of the United States of America. Haraghey developed cerebral palsy after contracting viral encephalitis at the age of six months. His condition resulted in intense tension in his muscles from the waist down.
Haraghey began skiing at 7 years old and started competitively racing around 15 years old.
This event marks Haraghey’s second Paralympic Games. He competed for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, placing 18th in the downhill event and 24th in the super-G event.
Haraghey won the Bob Casey Courage Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance in 2014. His mother, Sheryl, wrote and illustrated a children’s book called “Andrew Can Ski, Even With C.P.” which highlighted his life story.
Watch the 2022 Paralympics With Your Family
Families can support athletes with cerebral palsy and follow their journey to gold by watching the 2022 Winter Paralympics.To watch the Paralympics, you can stream the events through NBCOlympics.com and on the NBCSports smartphone app. You can also watch live coverage on television on NBC.
Watching athletes with cerebral palsy follow their dreams and compete for a Paralympic gold medal can inspire other children with cerebral palsy. By watching the Paralympic Games, children are reminded they are able to do anything they put their mind to, no matter their disability.
When watching the Paralympics, be sure to remind your own children they are able to achieve their own dreams. These Paralympic athletes are living proof that your child can also become a ch