"Competing on home soil is a thrill unlike any other,”
The 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, Canada, opened on Saturday (28 February), with over 100 athletes from 23 countries parading through the streets of nearby Invermere, watched by hundreds of local people.
The Opening Ceremony marked the start of the biggest gathering of para-alpine skiers since the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Alpine Canada Alpin, the event organiser, is incredibly honoured to be part of such an elite competition, which is being hosted for the first time in North America.
“Following the most successful Paralympic Winter Games in history a year ago, it is important that we focus even more on developing the sport and coming to venues like Panorama,” stated Patrick Jarvis, Governing Board Member of the International Paralympic Committee, during his speech. “The slopes here are challenging, as rightly they should be, and the organisers have been working hard to ensure that everything is in place to stage a great competition.”
Twenty-three different countries participated in the athletes’ parade, which the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachments lead down Main Street in Invermere. The competition officially began after officials such as Jarvis, Paul Kristofic, Vice President of Sport from Alpine Canada Alpin, Steve Paccagnan, CEO of Panorama Resort, and Gerry Taft, Mayor of Invermere addressed the crowd.
Canadian athletes are thrilled to have the opportunity to race at such a high level of competition on home turf.
"Competing on home soil is a thrill unlike any other,” said long-time team member of the Canadian team Matt Hallat. “I'm excited and ready to compete next week and I'm positive the Paralympic community around the world is excited to watch.”
All races will be held at Panorama Mountain Resort, with all ski races open for free public viewing on 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10 March. The event concludes Tuesday (10 March) at Panorama.
The Canadian para-alpine ski team is focused on a strong showing with potential for several podiums at Panorama 2015. The Canadian team is made up of veteran experience and youthful energy. Canadian athletes to watch are Matt Hallat, Kimberly Joines, Mac Marcoux and guide brother BJ, Braydon Luscombe, Kurt Oatway and Kirk Schornstein.
"It is a very proud moment for all of us at Alpine Canada Alpin, as this is an opportunity to showcase the warmth, dedication and commitment of the members in our ski community. Our para-alpine athletes had enormous success in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games and I am thrilled to watch them perform on home soil at the World Championships,” stated President and CEO of Alpine Canada Alpin, Mark Rubinstein.
Panorama 2015 will be streamed live at Panorama2015.com and live results will also be available.