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USABA Names 2024 Sport Ambassador Roster

Posted May 2, 2024  Sport Ambassadors

The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes has announced 20 athletes to its 2024 USABA Sport Ambassador Program. The USABA Sport Ambassador Program is entering its third year in spreading awareness and visibility of sports for the blind and visually impaired community, assisting in USABA representation through outreach and partnership opportunities, and supporting fundraising efforts to continue to expand sport programming. The 20 sport ambassadors were selected following an application and review process with the final roster consisting of athletes in the sports of goalball, blind soccer, track and field, swimming, beep baseball, biathlon and triathlon, along with two sighted guides and a sighted blind soccer goalkeeper.

Among the ambassadors are eight Paralympians with 12 Paralympic medals on their resumes. They include five-time track and field Paralympic medalist Lex Gillette (Chula Vista, Calif.), swimmer and triathlete McClain Hermes (Dacula, Ga.), and goalball athletes Mindy Cook (Columbus, Ohio), John Kusku (Commerce Township, Mich.), Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.), Tyler Merren (Greenville, Mich.), Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.) and Calahan Young (Pittsburgh, Pa.),

They will be joined on the ambassador team by blind soccer athletes Noah Beckman (Columbus, Ohio), Ricardo Castaneda (Fort Worth, Texas), Charles Catherine (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Emma Papariella (Slippery Rock, Pa.) and sighted goalkeeper Kyle Knott (Colorado Springs, Colo.), goalball athletes Christian King (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Kevin Orcel (Elizabeth, N.J.), para triathlete Ashley Eisenmenger (Chicago, Ill.), beep baseball player Mark Ivy (Oklahoma City, Okla.), endurance athlete Jasmine Murrell (Plainfield, N.J.), and sighted guides Je’Von Hutchison (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and Cheyenne Meyer (McKinney, Texas).

“I am honored to be a USABA Sport Ambassador,” said Gillette. “It is the sole organization that played a major role in me gaining my start in the Paralympics. I’ve participated in multiple USABA-sponsored sports education camps and those opportunities helped to sharpen my athletic skills and ultimately helped me gain the confidence I would need to become a multi-time Paralympic medalist. At this juncture in my career, it is my goal to pass along everything I’ve learned to athletes coming after me.”

For bio information and photos, visit the 2024 USABA Sport Ambassador page.