US Claim Another Medal at Skiing World Champs

20 Jan 2011

Sestriere, ITALY – A frigid, icy day at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing World Championships resulted in one medal for Team USA.

Alana Nichols (Farmington, N.M.) won bronze in the women’s sitting slalom with a time of 2:27.49.

“Alana had a really rugged day,” Ray Watkins, head coach of the U.S. Paralympics Adaptive Alpine Skiing Team, said. “She had a couple problems, but she kept grinding down the hill and fought and sometimes that’s what you have to do. Sometimes it’s not pretty but you have to grit your teeth and fight.

“It’s great to have her up there on the podium again.”

Danelle Umstead (Park City, Utah) with guide and husband Rob Umstead placed six in the women’s visually impaired slalom, but Watkins said it was some of the best skiing he’s seen Umstead do.

“It really clicked for her, so we were really glad,” Watkins said. “The result wasn’t what she wanted being sixth, but she made progress for sure, so that’s a positive.”

Friday will be a rest day for the team, and the skiers will hit the gym to workout.

Next up in the competition is giant slalom on Saturday.

“Slalom is always a dogfight, we’re pleased to get what we got for sure,” Watkins said. “We just try to do our best, and that’s all we can do.”