But the New Zealander was determined to return to the Winter Paralympic podium after his historical gold in the men’s slalom standing at Vancouver 2010. And he did it.
Hall had his best Winter Paralympic performance at PyeongChang 2018, claiming gold in the slalom and bronze in the super-combined.
He is a veteran on the circuit despite a host of setbacks, having made his international debut in 2005. In 2007 and 2008, Hall had injuries which impacted his performances and jeopardised his preparations for the major events.
In addition, he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and a torn meniscus in his knee during 2008. Hall recovered on time to secure silver at the 2009 World Championships.
He also took bronze in slalom at the 2013 and 2017 World Championships.
Hall has shown diversity throughout his career with wins across both speed and technical disciplines.
The athlete, farmer and public speaker was born with spina bifida and required several operations on the nerves in his back when he was a child.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
His performances at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi were affected by a stomach complaint. (tvnz.co.nz, 14 Mar 2014)
He competed through the 2008 season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] and a torn meniscus in his knee. He underwent surgery to repair the meniscus at the end of the season and was sidelined for six weeks. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2016)
In 2007 he tore the meniscus in his knee. After the competition season had finished he underwent surgery and was unable to train for six weeks. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2016)
He received the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The award is given to two Paralympians who best embody the spirit of the Paralympic movement. He was the first New Zealander to have received the honour. (paralympics.org.nz, 18 Mar 2018)
He was named the 2018 Athlete of the Year at the Halberg Awards in New Zealand. (snowsports.co.nz, 04 Nov 2020)
He was flag bearer for New Zealand at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. (nowtolove.co.nz, 22 Feb 2018; insidethegames.biz, 06 Mar 2014)
In 2011 he was made Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to sport. (snowsports.co.nz, 01 Dec 2012)
He is due to compete at the Paralympic Winter Games for the fifth time at Beijing 2022. He made his debut at the 2006 Games in Turin, where his best result was 41st in the men's standing downhill, and then won gold in slalom in both 2010 and 2018. "I am definitely recognised. The exposure in New Zealand has been pretty phenomenal over the years and people walk down the street and recognise the performances from Vancouver over 10 years ago. Being a relatively small population, the exposure is great. After Torino I could have walked away from that experience and thought, 'Bugger this, I'm done' but for me it was about gaining experience and learning from my competitors about what they were doing to be the best in the world. It's remarkable that I am where I am 18 years into a career when you never know what is going to happen. I never thought it would last this long and I'm thankful that it has." (paralympic.org, 02 Feb 2022)
VIRTUAL REALITY TRAINING
He and his fellow national team members used virtual reality technology to train in Wanaka, New Zealand, ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. The technology, designed by the University of Canterbury's Human Interface Technology Lab, offered the New Zealand skiers the chance to virtually experience the Beijing slopes used for the Games. "The [Paralympic] test event was cancelled last season [and] with the virtual reality stuff it gave us an opportunity to be here [Beijing] at the test event without being here, which was really cool. There's been so much talk about how intimidating this hill [for slalom] was going to be, how crazy the speed would be. It's scary, just how familiar it is. New Zealand always punches well above its weight with that good Kiwi ingenuity, and finding something out there and always finding ways to get ahead of your competition. So if you are stuck in a pandemic and can't travel, we will find a way to stay at the top. It has been a pretty amazing experience with what you have been able to do, with that technology. It is insane, really." (OIS, 08 Mar 2022; stuff.co.nz, 04 Mar 2022)
He has served as the chairperson of the World Para Alpine Skiing Athletes Focus Group. (paralympic.org, 02 Apr 2020)
He met his wife Elitsa, whom he married in 2014, on a chairlift while at a training camp in Winter Park, CO, United States of America, in the lead-up to the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin. She was born in Bulgaria with club foot, which led to the amputation of her right leg, before being adopted by a US couple. (nowtolove.co.nz, 18 Mar 2018; stuff.co.nz, 18 Mar 2018)
|Men's Downhill Standing||Final Round||41|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Final Round||50|
|Men's Giant Slalom Standing||Final Round||43|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Final Round||9999|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Final Round||1|
|Men's Super Combined Standing||Final Round||8|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Final Round||7|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Final||2009-02-20||2|
|Men's Giant Slalom Standing||Final||2009-02-21||12|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Final||2011-01-18||10|
|Men's Super-Combined Standing||Final||2011-01-19||8|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Final||2011-01-20||10|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Race 1||2013-02-21||9|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Race 1||2013-02-24||3|
|Men's Super-Combined Standing||Race 1||2013-02-25||9|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Final Round||2014-03-09||9999|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Final Round||2014-03-13||7|
|Men's Super Combined Standing||Final Round||2014-03-14||4|
|Men's Downhill Standing||Race 1||2015-03-04||9999|
|Men's Super-Combined Standing||Race 1||2015-03-07||6|
|Men's Giant Slalom Standing||Race 1||2015-03-08||19|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Race 1||2015-03-10||9999|
|Men's Downhill Standing||Race 1||2017-01-25||11|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Race 1||2017-01-26||15|
|Men's Super-Combined Standing||Race 1||2017-01-28||9|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Race 1||2017-01-31||3|
|Men's Downhill Standing||Final||2018-03-10||5|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Final||2018-03-11||10|
|Men's Super Combined Standing||Final||2018-03-13||3|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Final||2018-03-17||1|