Santeri Kiiveri wins Finland's first Paralympic Alpine Skiing gold everAustria's Johannes Aigner and Norway's Jesper Pedersen also emerge triumphant on day 4 of Para Alpine Skiing competition in Beijing 10 Mar 2022
Finland made history by winning their first-ever Paralympic Alpine Skiing gold medal courtesy of Santeri Kiiveri on the fourth day of competition (10 March) at the Yangqing National Alpine Skiing Centre.
The 21-year-old, who days before had secured silver in the men's super combined standing, ended first in the giant slalom with a time of 1:55.40.
"The giant slalom has all the time been really good for me but I haven't been able to do good runs in the races and now everything came together," he said.
"It's been a great job for me. After the first medal I decided that now I would just enjoy and go full gas and that paid off."
Kiiveri admitted not being nervous before this event because he already had "one medal, that was my goal here. I was focusing on another good run and that's it."
He also hopes his achievements can promote Para Alpine Skiing in Finland further.
"Of course I hope it means a lot and we will find more skiers in the future. We have a really small team, only me and a sit skier (Maiju Laurila).
"I hope that (his gold medal) has encouraged some young disabled skiers to start skiing."
USA's Thomas Walsh (1:55.44) and France's Arthur Bauchet (1:55.89) completed the podium.
Pedersen and Aigner again atop the podium
Norwegian Jesper Pedersen (1:54.20) took gold in the giant slalom sitting, his third Winter Paralympic title in Beijing after previous victories in the super-G and super combined.
He said: "I just have to try to look at every opportunity as a new opportunity and try to fight for gold. Of course, I've had a lot of golds by now but I always want to have more.
"I am kind of the most consistent skier on the circuit.
"We've just trained a lot. We probably have the most days on skis on the circuit. And in these conditions as well, we have a glacier on Norway we are on the whole summer.
"We've been through it all, we did a lot of training going into this season and we knew what to expect. Today we showed we've done a lot of good things."
Italian Rene de Silvestro (1:57.50) took silver and Chinese Liang Zilu (2:00.92) collected bronze.
Enrique Plantey (2:03.14) ended fourth, the best result ever achieved by an Argentinian Winter Olympian or Paralympian.
Austria's Johannes Aigner, guided by Matteo Fleischmann, continued to impress in Beijing as he stormed to his second gold in the giant slalom vision impaired with a time of 1:49.34.
"It's just unbelievable. Because we already have gold, silver and bronze, it’s just gold that we wanted (in the giant slalom). It’s unbelievable for us that we made it."
Italian Giacomo Bertagnolli and guide Andrea Ravelli (1:51.02), and Slovakia's Miroslav Haraus (1:54.92), guided by Maros Hudik, completed the top three.