“I was born with a disability, but that’s what life is about. It’s about changing things that are difficult and making them into things you can do."
This season New Zealand’s Adam Hall is already proving himself as king of the mountains, finishing in first place on both days of the men’s Standing Slalom competition at the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) NORAM Cup on Copper Mountain in Colorado, USA from 12-15 December 2011.
The Paralympian, the IPC's official magazine, caught up with him to learn how his career has gone full circle, and how he wants to do even better in Sochi 2014.
Adam Hall is a determined man, following a simple philosophy.
“I was born with a disability, but that’s what life is about. It’s about changing things that are difficult and making them into things you can do.
“If I was to go on a running race with you, I’d be the one with the disability. But come and have a ski with me and you’d be the one with the disability.”
Born with spina bifida, Hall took up skiing aged six, switching to snowboarding when he was nine.
After 12 years of competition, and snowboarding not part of the Winter Games programme, Hall realized that to fulfill his Paralympic dream he would have to switch back to skiing.
“One of my goals and dreams was to represent New Zealand at the highest level possible, so I changed back in 2004 to try qualify for Torino 2006.”
Qualify he did, though he finished outside of the medals, which made him even more determined to return in Vancouver faster and stronger.
“The goal was not just to get on the podium, but to be top of it with a gold medal. I wasn’t going there for silver and bronze.”
After his first Slalom run at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games, Hall looked very much on track. A sensational ski gave him a 2.13 seconds lead.
But then disaster struck.
With 20 gates to go in his second run, Hall fell. What happened next will go down as in Paralympic folklore.
“I didn’t have too much time to think about it really, my body just kicked into autopilot,” is how Hall describes somehow picking himself up, recovering and continuing his run to still claim victory with a 0.57 second margin.
Now a national hero, the inspirational Kiwi has turned his aspirations to Sochi 2014, where he not only wants to retain his title but improve his results in other disciplines.
“In Vancouver I finished eighth and seventh in Super G and Super Combined. In Scohi, I’ll be looking to see if I can sneak in another medal.”
With his determination, you would not rule it out.