Late Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives overwhelming approved legislation authored by Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) honoring Team U.S.A. for its participation in the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
In July, Lance unveiled his legislation at The Rock ice rink in Dunellen alongside 17-year-old Watchung High School senior Josh Pauls. Pauls participated in the 2010 Paralympic games and won a gold medal for his participation on Team USA's sled hockey team. The Seventh District Congressman credited Pauls with serving as the inspiration for the congressional measure.
Lance's measure, House Resolution 1479,Honoring the Outstanding Athletes of the 2010 Paralympic Games, states that "Paralympic Athletes are the very best at their sports, devote countless hours to training and receive support from their families, schools and communities."
"I stand on the floor of the House of Representatives to honor Josh and the entire Team USA Paralympic athletes all of whom have shown an unwavering commitment to the Olympic ideals," Lance said during a speech on the House floor earlier this week in support of the measure..
"Josh Pauls of Watchung, New Jersey is a remarkable young man whose great American spirit, courage and achievement are being honored here today along with the stories and successes of thousands of other Team USA Paralympic athletes."
Lance's bipartisan measure was cosponsored by over 50 members of Congress and endorsed by the United States Olympic Committee.
"Congratulating Team U.S.A. before the United States Congress recognizes the hard work, extensive training, dedication and talents of these fine athletes," said Desiree Filippone, a representative for the United States Olympic Committee, in their endorsement of the Lance resolution. "Team U.S.A. brought home a total of 13 medals, including four Gold medals from the 2010 Paralympic Winter games. And we are extremely proud."
Pauls was the youngest member of the Team U.S.A sled hockey roster. He is the son of Debbie and Tony Pauls.
[Photo editors note: Congressman Leonard Lance meets with Josh Pauls of Watchung in July to announce congressional legislation honoring Pauls and the U.S. Paralympic team.]
CLICK to watch Lance's speech on the floor of the House of Representatives discussing the measure.