BEIJING — Keith Gabel has been voted in by his peers/Team USA teammates to represent them in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony as the flag bearer. The Ogden, Utah born and raised snowboarder is in his third Paralympics.
A pioneer of the sport, he was instrumental in para snowboarding’s inclusion in the Paralympic Games but is quick to give credit to the up-and-comers for its continuation.
The two-time medalist and graduate of Ben Lomond High School got his start in adaptive sports at Park City’s National Ability Center (NAC) after having his foot amputated below the knee as a result of an industrial accident.
Both Beijing Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies flag bearers were from Utah.
Also an NAC athlete, fifty-year-old, vision impaired alpine skier from Park City, Danelle Umstead, was bestowed the honor of Team USA flag bearer a week ago. She led the athletes alongside her guide who is also her husband, Rob.
Not only was Danelle a role model to her teammates via her physical trials, tribulations, and triumphs at this, her fourth Paralympics, but via her mental health status and communication therein, as well. She posted about her challenges on her social media but only after creating posts containing her trademark, self-deprecating humor. The post was met with overwhelming global support.
The 2022 Paralympic Closing Ceremony will take place on Sunday in Beijing.