Sochi Winter Games: How Grand Rapids’ U.S. Paralympian Omar Bermejo Did
Omar Bermejo achieved and competed with the world’s best Winter Paralympians over the past two weeks in Russia.
The 32-year-old former Marine, who had an amputation of part of a severed arm suffered in a June 2009 motorcycle accident, is from Grand Rapids resident, He took part with Team USA in two nordic skiing disciplines at the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Bermejo competed in cross-country skiing and biathlon.
Here’s how he finished in his Sochi events:
- Men’s 10-kilometer free, standing cross-country skiing on Sunday: 29th in 29 minutes, 51.8 seconds. He was 5:51.9 minutes behind the winner, Russia’s Alexandr Pronkov.
- Men’s 4-by-2.5-kilometer open relay in cross country skiing on Saturday: The U.S. team he was on finished ninth in 29:58.3, 5:35.5 minutes behind Russia’s gold medal-winning relay. Bermejo’s teammates were Augusto Perez, Bryan Price and Kevin Burton. Canada took fourth.
- Men’s 15-kilometer standing biathlon on Friday: 17th in 46:21.8;. That was 11:40.7 minutes behind the winner, Ukraine’s Grigorii Vovchhynskyi.
- Men’s 1-kilometer spring free qualification standing cross-country skiing on Wednesday: 30th in 4:48.86. The gold medal winner was Russia’s Kirill Mikhaylov with 3:53.5 in the final.
- Men’s 12.5-kilometer standing biathlon on Tuesday: 17th in 37:22.8. That was 7:52.8 minutes behind the winner, Russia’s Azat Karachurin; and Canada’s Mark Arendz took bronze.
- Men’s 7.5-kilometer standing biathlon on March 8: 18th in 24:22.8. That was 5:09.1 minutes behind the winner, Russia’s Vladislav Lekmotcev; with Canada’s Arendz runner-up.
Bermejo was part of an 80-athlete U.S. contingent that includes 16 U.S. military veterans and two U.S. active duty military personnel at the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games. Team USA won two gold medals (including in men’s ice sled hockey, with a 1-0 win over Russia on Saturday), seven silver medals and nine bronze, finishing eighth in the medal count.
The Sochi Games closed Sunday, having opened March 6. Joining Bermejo in Sochi were his mother, Rosa Bermejo; his two sisters, Edna and Tania; and his girlfriend, Lindsey Hall.
Photos of U.S. Paralympian Omar Bermejo at the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games