National Team

USAWR Announces 2024 Paralympic Roster

USA Wheelchair Rugby on April 30, 2024

USA Wheelchair Rugby is pleased to announce the roster of athletes nominated to the Paris 2024 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team. The team is comprised of 12 athletes that will represent the United States at the Paralympic Games Paris 2024 from August 28 to September 8, 2024. Six athletes return from the silver medal winning Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 squad, while six team members will make their Paralympic debut.  

USA Wheelchair Rugby is the most decorated Paralympic wheelchair rugby program in history and the only wheelchair rugby program to medal at every Paralympic Games since the sport was added to the event roster in Sydney 2000. After silver medal performances at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the U.S. is looking to make it to the top of the podium for the first time since Beijing 2008. The team will be led by co-captains and multi-time Paralympic medalists Chuck Aoki (Minneapolis, MN) and Eric Newby (Godfrey, IL).  

Roster

  • Sarah Adam, Naperville, IL/St. Louis, MO
  • Chuck Aoki (Co-Captain), Minneapolis, MN/Ann Arbor, MI
  • Clayton Brackett, Birmingham, AL
  • Jeff Butler, Fort Wayne, IN/San Francisco, CA
  • Lee Fredette, East Moriches, NY/Tucson, AZ
  • Brad Hudspeth, Stilwell, KS
  • Chuck Melton, Richview, IL
  • Eric Newby (Co-Captain), Godfrey, IL
  • Josh O’Neill, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Zion Redington, Birmingham, AL
  • Mason Symons, Hershey, PA
  • Josh Wheeler, Tucson, AZ

Chuck Aoki (Minneapolis, MN) makes history as the first four-time U.S. Paralympian in the sport of wheelchair rugby, previously competing and medaling at the London 2012 (bronze), Rio 2016 (silver) and Tokyo 2020 (silver) Games. In addition to his Paralympic appearances, Aoki’s 16 consecutive seasons with Team USA, the most of any athlete, have also earned him four world championship medals (2010 gold, 2014 bronze, 2018 bronze, 2022 silver) and three Parapan American medals (2015 silver, 2019 gold, 2023 gold). 

Eric Newby (Godfrey, IL) also brings a wealth of experience and hardware to the team. From his international debut at the 2013 Americas Zone Championship, Newby’s career includes two Paralympic silver medals (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), two world championship medals (2014 bronze, 2022 silver) and three Parapan American Games medals (2015 silver, 2019 gold, 2023 gold). The father of two also has a U.S. Wheelchair Rugby Association (USWRA) National Championship with the Denver Harlequins on his resume. 

Josh Wheeler (Tucson, AZ) is another veteran member of Team USA who will make his third Paralympic Games appearance in Paris. Wheeler made his first national team training squad in 2010 and his international debut at the 2011 Americas Zone Championship. His extensive resume includes two Paralympic silver medals (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), three world championship medals (2014 bronze, 2018 bronze, 2022 silver) and two Parapan American Games medals (2015 silver, 2019 gold). In his club career, he was the 2018 and 2019 USWRA National Champion with the University of Arizona and USWRA Athlete of the year.  

Jeff Butler (Fort Wayne, IN) joins Wheeler in his third Paralympic Games appearance. A two-time Paralympic silver medalist (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020) and 2018 world championship bronze medalist, Butler has been a stalwart low pointer for Team USA. He made his first national team in 2014 and was a part of three Parapan American Games (2015 silver, 2019 gold, 2023 gold). A graduate of Stanford University’s MBA program and entrepreneur in San Francisco, Butler’s skills and resume extend beyond the court.  

Chuck Melton (Richview, IL) brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the team including two Paralympic silver medals (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), three world championship medals (2014 bronze, 2018 bronze, 2022 silver) and two Parapan American Games medals (2015 silver, 2019 gold). A solid force on the squad and a father of three, he is often referred to as Papa by the team.  

Lee Fredette (East Moriches, NY) rounds out the six returning Paralympians for Team USA. Fredette is part of the core group of U.S. athletes who has the titles of two-time Paralympic silver medalist (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), two-time world championship medalist (2018 bronze, 2022 silver) and three-time Parapan American Games medalist (2015 silver, 2019 gold, 2023 gold). As a stand-out low pointer, Fredette received Best in Class honors at the Paris 2023 International Wheelchair Rugby Cup. 

Sarah Adam (Naperville, IL) makes history as the first woman named to the U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team. An assistant professor at St. Louis University, Adam began playing wheelchair rugby in 2019. She made her international debut at the Americas Championship in 2022 where the team won gold and later that year won a silver medal at the world championships. In 2023, she was part of the gold medal winning Parapan American Games team that secured USA Wheelchair Rugby a spot for Paris 2024. She also became the first American woman to win Parapan American Games gold in wheelchair rugby. 

Clayton Brackett (Birmingham, AL) joins Adam as a first-time Paralympian. A crossover athlete from the sport of wheelchair basketball, Brackett competed for the University of Illinois before, now teammate, Eric Newby suggested he try wheelchair rugby in 2013. He made his international debut at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games where he won silver. After narrowly missing multiple Paralympic and world championship squads, Brackett returned to Team USA in 2023 and helped the team win gold at the Parapan American Games and qualify the team to Paris.    

Brad Hudspeth (Stilwell, KS) is the newest low pointer for Team USA and will make his Paralympic debut in Paris. Hudspeth started playing club wheelchair rugby in 2016 with the Kansas City Revolution, and in 2023 he made his first national training squad. 2023 was a breakout year for the father of four who made his international debut at the International Wheelchair Rugby Cup in Paris followed by winning gold at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile.  

Josh O’Neill (Colorado Springs, CO) is another first-time Paralympian who is making a big impact for Team USA. O’Neill, who has been playing wheelchair rugby for 12 years, made the U.S. developmental squad in 2014 and has been in the USAWR mix ever since. 2022 was a stand-out year. He won silver at the world championships and was named player of game in the semifinal against Canada. He also has 2023 Parapan American gold medal on his resume along with a 2019 USWRA national championship with the Denver Harlequins. 

Zion Redington (Birmingham, AL) at just 17-years-old, becomes the youngest athlete to ever make the U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team. Redington started playing at age 8 and by his teens was a top contender for the national training squad. With just one year of international competition under his belt, he has already gained experience at the 2023 Paris International Wheelchair Rugby Cup, 2024 Musholm Cup and a gold medal from the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games.  

Mason Symons (Hershey, PA) completes the 2024 roster and makes his Paralympic debut. The Army veteran made his first USAWR roster in 2022 and helped the team win gold at the Americas Championship in Medellín, Colombia and qualify a spot to the 2022 World Championships. In just two years, he has become a 2023 Parapan American Games gold medalist and competed internationally in France, Denmark, Wales and Japan. 

The team will be led by Head Coach Joe Delagrave (Prairie du Chien, WI) and Assistant Coach Mike Klonowski (Cleveland Heights, OH). Delagrave, a two-time Paralympian (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020) and three-time world medalist (2010, 2014, 2018) will make his Paralympic coaching debut alongside Klonowski. 

“We are incredibly excited about our Paris 2024 Paralympic Roster,” says Head Coach Joe Delagrave. We feel like this team has all the tools necessary to compete for the top of the podium. We are looking forward to the final months of physical and mental preparation, coming together as a team, and being ready for the most intense Paralympic competition to date.”