After four exciting competitions, the 2008 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup season ended some days ago with the finals taking place in Hakuba, Japan.
Athletes from 18 different countries competed in the World Cups, which, for the first time featured a new discipline – a super combined run, where athletes tackled both a speed and technical event.
THe Austrian team dominated the first event of the season, which took place in Abtenau, Austria, from 5 to 11 January, finishing the event with 4905 points. Canada followed in second place with 3124 points and Germany third with 1652. These country positions were maintained after competitions in Queyras, France, took place from 13 to 20 January.
Further competitions took place in Jeong Seon, Korea, from 14 to 18 February. The Austrian team came away as winner scoring 9444 points, followed by Canada with 6914 points and Germany with 4135 points.
Most successful athletes of the season include Sabine Gasteiger (Austria) in the Visually Impaired category and Lauren Woolstencroft from Canada (Standing category), winning the World Cup in the Slalom, the Giant Slalom, the Super-G and Super Combined. Visually Impaired skier Claudia Loesch from Austria and Kimberley Joines from Canada also enjoyed several podium finishes in the Sitting category.
Swiss Thomas Pfyl (Standing category) won the overall World Cup with lots of fast runs especially in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events. Laureus Award Winner 2006 Martin Braxenthaler from Germany finished first in the overall Slalom and Super Combined World Cup (Sitting category), while visually impaired skier Christopher Williamson (Canada) won the overall Slalom, Super-G and Super Combined World Cup. Other athletes with top finishes include Radomir Dudas (Slovakia), Taiki Morii (Japan), Christopher Devlin-Young (USA), Michael Bruegger (Switzerland) and Hubert Mandl (Austria)