SPOTLIGHT

Cindy Castellano skis down the course
Photo courtesy Cindy Castellano

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Cindy Castellano was Team USA’s first female Paralympic Winter Games champion

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The U.S. sent a one-person (all male) delegation to the inaugural Paralympic Winter Games in 1976 and failed to win a medal.

Four years later, upper-limb amputee Cindy Castellano made sure Team USA did not come home empty-handed from the Geilo 1980 Paralympic Winter Games.

Castellano won gold medals in the women’s slalom (by 14 seconds) and giant slalom (besting fellow American and silver medalist Kathy Poohachof).

Castellano’s medals are on display at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, accompanied by a handwritten poem in which she writes, “To anyone who fears, show them also that all is possible….to all the skiers, all my friends, belong these golden rewards.”

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