The first International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing European Cup competition for the winter sport season 2009/2010 finished its last event yesterdaz in Pitztal, Austria, after three days of races in Giant Slalom and Super G. Over 100 athletes from 19 different countries competed in three different categories, including visually impaired, sitting and standing.
Radomir Dudas from Slovakia was the most successful male alpine skier of the weekend, taking home two victories in the visually impaired category. He won the Men’s Giant Slalom on Saturday, leaving behind his compatriot Jakub Krako and Russian Ivan Frantsev. On Sunday Dudas also dominated the Super G in a time of 1:09.39. Miroslav Haraus (SVK) and Ivan Frantsev (RUS) came in on second and third place respectively.
The Giant Slalom in the Men’s sitting category was won by German Martin Braxenthaler, followed by Christoph Kunz from Switzerland and Sean Rose from Great Britain. Rose also came in third in the Super G on Sunday, where Braxenthaler and Kunz switched positions. Kunz won the race in a time of 1:09.93.
The Super G in the Men’s standing category saw two winners. Gerd Schoenfelder from Germany and Thomas Pfyl from Switzerland both finished the race in a time of 1:14.90. Martin France from Slovakia came in on third place. The Giant Slalom on Saturday only saw one winner in this category. This time Pfyl was ahead of Schoenfelder, Cedric Amafroi-Broisat finished third.
Austrian Claudia Loesch (sitting) was the most successful athlete on the women’s side. She won the Giant Slalom in a time of 2:26.43. Anna Schafflhuber (GER) and Anita Fuhrer (SUI) came in second and third respectively. Loesch also dominated the Super G on Sunday in a time of 1:18.55. Schafflhuber again took second place, followed by Delphine Le Sausse (FRA).
Paralympic Champion Lauren Woolstencroft from Canada proved her exceptional talent in the Women’s standing Giant Slalom winning in a time of 2:03.18. German Andrea Rothfuss finished second and Petra Smarzova (SVK) came in third. Smarzova came back on Sunday to win the Super G in this category leaving behind her compatriot Iveta Chlebakova and Suiss Karin Fasel.
The Women’s visually impaired category saw Alexandra Frantseva (RUS) winning the Giant Slalom race on Saturday, followed by Canadian Vivian Forest and Spanish Anna Cohi. Frantseva then reached the podium again in the Super G, taking home third place. Henrieta Farkasova (SVK) won this race, followed by Cohi.
The Giant Slalom scheduled for Friday, 11 December, had to be cancelled due to bad weather conditions.
Athletes competing in Alpine Skiing events combine speed, strength and power pushing their limits to speed down mountain tops and through slalom courses. They compete in three categories (Sitting, Standing and Visually Impaired), and a results calculation system allows athletes with different profiles to compete against each other. Sighted guides assist skiers with a visual impairment through the course. Athletes with a physical disability use equipment that is adapted to their needs, including mono-skis, sit-skis or outriggers. Speeding down the slopes with sometimes more than 100km/h, the athletes prove that this is an elite level event.