U.S. names Paralympic Opening Ceremony flag bearer

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Snowboarder Mike Schultz was voted U.S. flag bearer for the PyeongChang Paralympic Opening Ceremony on Friday (6 a.m. ET, NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

Schultz, 36, is a medal favorite in his Paralympic debut in South Korea as this season’s World Cup champion in both of the Paralympic snowboard disciplines — banked slalom and snowboard cross.

The U.S. Paralympic team includes 74 athletes.

Schultz was a Winter X Games veteran snowmobile racer before a Dec. 13, 2008 race accident where he was thrown from his vehicle, resulting in the amputation of his left leg above the knee.

The Minnesota native engineered his own prosthetic design using bike shocks, a design that will also be used by other Paralympians in PyeongChang. Schultz founded his own company to serve adaptive athletes and veterans, BioDapt, Inc., and through that found snowboarding.

Schultz, who had racked up Summer and Winter X Games adaptive racing medals from 2009 through 2013, was asked why not compete in snowboarding, too. He took it up.

In 2017, he achieved an impressive double, winning his sixth Winter X Games adaptive snowmobiling title and then taking banked slalom snowboarding silver at the IPC World Championships.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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