COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. August 5, 2004 - USA Volleyball and the United States Paralympic Committee are pleased to announce the members of the USA Menís Sitting Volleyball Paralympic Team that will be competing in Athens, Greece, in September.
Team members include: Rene Aquino (Chicago, Ill.); Eric Duda (Gainesville, Fla.); Joey Evans (Springville, Utah); Essam Hamido (Nashville, Tenn.); Tracey Lange (Waunakee, Wis.); Curtis Lease (Naperville, Ill.); Jeff MacMunn (Sugar Hill, Ga.); Paul Moran (Glenview, Ill.); Robert Osbahr (Old Bridge, N.J.); Chris Seilkop (Deland, Fla.); Bill Steen (Westminster, Colo.); Brent Rasmussen (Omaha, Neb.).
Team USA will be guided by head coach Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.) and assistant coach Dixie Collins (Burke, Va.). The team leader is Roger Neppl (Denver, Colo.), the vice-president of USA Volleyballís Disabled Sports Division.
The United States, which will be making its sixth Paralympic appearance, will take a veteran squad to Greece. Moran is a member of his fourth Paralympic sitting volleyball team, while Lange has now been selected to three Paralympic sitting volleyball teams. Hamido and Lease both competed in sitting volleyball four years ago in Sydney, Australia.
Three other players represented the USA in standing volleyball in past Paralympics: MacMunn (1996 and 2000), Seilkop (1996 and 2000) and Osbahr (1996).
The men qualified for Septemberís Paralympics in Athens, Greece, by capturing the gold medal at the Para Pan American Games over Brazil in Argentina last December.
Team USA, which has been traveling and training for most of the summer (including trips to Bosnia, the Netherlands, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas), continues its Paralympic preparations with a pair of four-day training sessions this month at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Aug. 5-8 and Aug. 19-22).
About Sitting Volleyball
Sitting volleyball is played with athletes sitting on the floor. All team members have some type of disability to their lower body such as paralysis from polio, or single- or double-amputation. The net is about three feet high and the court is 10 meters by 6 meters with a 2-meter attack line. The only major differences between the standing game and sitting game besides the smaller court and lower net are: 1) players can block the serve; and 2) one "cheek" must be in contact with the floor when a person makes contact with the ball.
About U.S. Paralympics
U.S. Paralympics is a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee and is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and promoting excellence in the lives of persons with physical disabilities. For more information on U.S. Paralympics, visit www.usparalympics.org.
2004 USA Menís Paralympic Sitting Volleyball Team Quick Facts
1984 (7th), 1988 (10th), 1992 (11th), 1996 (11th), 2000 (12th) and 2004
4-Paul Moran (1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004)
3-Tracey Lange (1996, 2000 and 2004)
3-Jeff MacMunn (1996, 2000 and 2004)
3-Chris Seilkop (1996, 2000 and 2004)
2-Essam Hamido (2000 and 2004)
2-Curtis Lease (2000 and 2004)
2-Robert Osbahr (1996 and 2004)
Paralympians by State
Illinois (3): Rene Aquino; Curtis Lease; Paul Moran
Florida (2): Eric Duda; Chris Seilkop
Colorado (1): Bill Steen
Georgia (1): Jeff MacMunn
Nebraska (1): Brent Rasmussen
New Jersey (1): Robert Osbahr
Tennessee (1): Essam Hamido
Utah (1): Joey Evans
Wisconsin (1): Tracey Lange
Paralympians by College
Boston College (1): Paul Moran
Central Florida (1): Chris Seilkop
Florida (1): Eric Duda
Illinois (1): Curtis Lease
Nebraska-Omaha (1): Brent Rasmussen
San Diego State (1): Bill Steen
Tennessee State (1): Essam Hamido
Upper Iowa University (1): Tracey Lange
Utah Valley State (1): Joey Evans
Waubonsee Community College (1): Jeff MacMunn