BEIJING — Paralympic alpine ski teammates Danelle Umstead and Tyler Carter have been selected as the American flag bearers for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
Umstead, a four-time Paralympian, and Carter, a three-time Paralympian, were chosen by a majority vote from the other Team USA athletes to lead the 67-member delegation. Umstead will be joined by her husband Rob who also serves as her guide.
The opening ceremony will take place Friday, March 4 at the National Stadium, where 43 athletes and two guides are scheduled to march in the event serving as the official start to the Paralympic Winter Games.
Umstead made her Paralympic debut at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games where she won double bronze in the visually impaired women’s category after outstanding performances in the downhill and super combined events. Umstead earned her third career medal with a third-place finish at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
The team’s only married couple, Danelle and Rob Umstead have been skiing competitively together since 2008. Umstead is one of three quadruple Paralympians on the 2022 U.S. Paralympic Winter Team.
“I was completely surprised,” Umstead said after being selected by her American teammates. “They did a beautiful thing, and they asked my husband to tell me. Everything I did, he was by my side. He is so proud. It’s such an honor, and I was completely shocked.
Four years after attending the Paralympic Winter Games as a fan in Vancouver, Carter made his debut at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games where he earned the 19th best finish in the men’s standing slalom. He returned to the world’s biggest stage at PyeongChang 2018 with a 27th place finish in the giant slalom. Carter most recently served as Team USA’s Athlete Services Coordinator for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and currently works for the US Olympic & Paralympic Museum.
“I called my dad right away when I found out, and he was over the moon,” Carter said. “I was crying when I told him. It’s a really cool way to end my sporting career and my Games experience.
“Being able to carry the flag alongside Danelle is a huge honor,” Carter continued. “I lived with her for a few months when I was young in my career. She mentored me and we became best friends. [and] represent our entire country and the team, I can’t think of anyone better to share this moment with.
According to IPC protocol and determined by the language of the host country, Turkey will be the first country to march with the United States entering the stadium as the 45th country in the formation. The parade of nations will be closed by the host country, the People’s Republic of China.
The opening ceremony will air live on USA Network and Peacock from 7-9 a.m. ET on March 4. Presented by Toyota, NBCUniversal will feature unprecedented coverage of the Paralympic Winter Games, including more than 230 hours of programming, including 120 on television. coverage, on NBC, USA Network, Olympic Channel and Peacock. All events will be streamed live on Peacock.
Team USA fans can follow the 2022 USA Paralympic Team on TeamUSA.org and on Team USA social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. The US Paralympic Team microsite will feature US Paralympic Winter Games team results, as well as athlete biographies, sport insights, a history book, and facts and figures about the US delegation.