Eagan’s Weggemann making 3rd appearance
A number of Minnesotans are part of the Team USA contingent for the 2020 Paralympics that begin Tuesday, Aug. 24.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 6 a.m. Central Daylight time Aug. 24, with competition beginning the next day. The Paralympics run through Sept. 5.
Like the recently concluded 2020 Olympics, the 2020 Paralympics are being held in Tokyo, one year after they were scheduled. And like the Olympics, events will take place without fans because of continuing concerns about COVID-19 spread.
About 4,400 athletes with various disabilities are expected to compete in the Paralympics. The first official Paralympics were held in 1960. Since 1988, the event has been held shortly following the summer Olympics, and in the same city.
Athletes from the south metro competing for Team USA include:
• Mallory Weggemann of Eagan, who will compete in swimming at the Paralympics for the third time. She won a gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle and the 4x100 medley in London in 2012. Weggemann, a 2007 Eagan High School graduate, finished fifth in two events in the 2016 Paralympics. She won two gold medals and one silver in the 2019 world championships.
• Josh Cinnamo, a Lakeville resident and shot put gold medalist at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. This will be his first Paralympics, where he will compete in shot put and discus.
• Ian Seidenfeld of Lakeville, who will compete in table tennis. The 20-year-old will be in his first Paralympics, although his family name is familiar to those in the sport. Ian’s father Mitchell won four Paralympic medals, including gold in 1992. Mitchell is now Ian’s coach.
• Abby Bauleke, a Savage resident and 2020 Burnsville High School graduate, is one of three Minnesotans on the U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team. She plays for the University of Alabama and the Minnesota Junior Rolling Timberwolves club team. Bauleke also played for the U.S. team that won gold in the 2019 Under-25 world championships.
Swimming competition at the 2020 Paralympics runs Aug. 25 through Sept. 3. The track and field competition is Aug. 27-Sept. 5. Almost 60 percent of the total medal events in this year’s games will be in swimming and track and field.
Table tennis runs Aug. 25-Sept. 3. Wheelchair basketball will be held every day of the Paralympics, with gold medal games scheduled Sept. 4-5.