A team of four exceptional Para athletes have been selected by Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) to compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games next March. The team will include a mix of experience and youth headlined by Paralympian Adam Hall who will be attending his fourth Paralympic Games.
He will be joined by Sochi 2014 silver medallist Corey Peters, and Para snowboarder Carl Murphy, both will be competing at their second Paralympic Winter Games and Paralympic debutant Aaron Ewen. The announcement was made at the New Zealand winter training base in Wanaka and marks the first group of Para athletes to be announced to the New Zealand Team.
Between them, the Team of four Para athletes hold nine World Championships titles and two Paralympic Winter Games medals. This bodes well for this small but talented team as they aim to win two medals at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games which opens on 9 March, nearly two weeks after the Winter Olympics.
Adam Hall, Vancouver 2010 gold medallist, will join an exclusive group of only 15 New Zealand winter and summer Paralympians who have competed at a staggering four Paralympic Games. Most recently, Hall continued to make his presence felt on the world stage showing great form at the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing World Championships winning bronze in the Men’s Slalom Standing.
Hall said: “I have seen so much change and growth in Para sport both nationally and internationally since I competed at my first Paralympic Games in Torino 2006. The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games was a huge turning point in New Zealand as Kiwi’s watched the Team free-to-air on TVNZ and Attitude. With this also being the case for PyeongChang 2018 we encourage all New Zealanders to show their support and watch us in action on the slopes and be inspired to think differently about what disabled people can achieve.”
Carl Murphy returns to the Paralympic Winter Games environment at the age of 38 and will be looking to win the gold medal that evaded him as he finished fourth in Para snowboard at Sochi 2014. Murphy said: “I am so thrilled to be named as part of the team today. It has been a long road to selection but I now feel like the last two years of ongoing injury, surgery and rehabilitation are behind me. I am totally focused on PyeongChang and making my family and all those that have supported me proud.”
Sochi 2014 silver medallist Corey Peters, will be looking to go one better in PyeongChang 2018 as he aims for gold. Four years ago, Peters made his Paralympic Winter Games debut and surprised many as he went onto win New Zealand’s only medal across both the Paralympic and Olympic Games in 2014. Since then, he has continued to perform at the highest level winning two gold and three silver World Championships medals.
This wealth of experience will be invaluable to Paralympic Winter Games debutant 20-year-old Aaron Ewen as he represents New Zealand at his first ever Paralympic Games. Ewen was first identified as having potential talent only two years ago and since then has progressed rapidly through the Snow Sports NZ talent development pathway. He will look to draw on his recent experience at last season’s international competitions where he achieved five podium finishes.
The full story can be found on Paralympic New Zealand’s website.