Just days before the team left for RIO, U.S. Paralympics announced tandem cyclists Mackenzie Woodring and Shawn Cheshire will join the squad for the 2016 Games after all.
Despite meeting the U.S. team’s selection criteria months ago, “Mac & Cheese” were initially left out of the Games due to International Paralympic Committee limits on the number of athletes each country is allowed to enter.
U.S. Paralympics announced on Saturday that an additional 22 Americans would be among the 267 athletes who will replace suspended Russian athletes at the RIO Paralympics.
“There are no words….feeling thankful and determined,” Cheshire said in a Facebook post Saturday, shortly after the announcement.
By Monday, the duo was in California for a mini-training camp before leaving for RIO.
Woodring, from Lowell, is a Paralympic veteran who won a pair of Golds in Beijing. Cheshire, a blind athlete from Camillus, N.Y., is making her Paralympic debut.
The duo swept the time trial and road race at USA Cycling’s Paracyling National Championships in June, then scorched the U.S. Paralympics Cycling Time Trial in July. The two have won 9 straight national championships together.
Paralympic road cycling events are scheduled for Sept. 14-17.