“Couldn't have asked for a better day to race in Winter Park! Low 50s and sunny! Lovin it!”
The final round of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing World Cup kicked off on Tuesday (6 March) with two Super-G events.
USA skiers picked up two gold, five silver and three bronze medals at the event on their home snow in Winter Park, Colorado.
USA’s Laurie Stephens proved unbeatable in the women’s Super-G Sitting, winning two golds. Canada’s comeback kid, Kimberly Joines, won silver in the first race and USA’s Alana Nichols won bronze. After Joines did not finish the second event, USA’s Alana Nichols moved into second place.
“Well, I got 3rd in the first Super G and 2nd place in the second. Not my best but I learned some good stuff!” Nichols tweeted from @alananichols21.
“Couldn't have asked for a better day to race in Winter Park! Low 50s and sunny! Lovin it,” she continued.
Germany’s Paralympic bronze medallist Anna Schaffelhuber came third in the second Super-G.
Russia’s Alexandra Frantseva and guide Pavel Zabotin picked up two golds in the women’s Visually Impaired events.
USA’s Danelle Umstead and husband and guide Robert fought Slovakia’s Paralympic gold-medallist Henrieta Farkasova, guided by Natalia Subrtaova, for second place. Both pairs won a silver and a bronze in the two events.
The women’s Super-G Standing was a closely fought race. In the first event, Germany’s Paralympic bronze-medallist Andrea Rothfuss finished in 1:04.21, just a fraction of a second ahead of France’s Marie Bochet (1:04.40). Austria’s Danja Haslacher and Italy’s Paralympic silver-medallist Melania Corradini came third and fourth, respectively.
In the second event, Bochet (1:04.93) pushed ahead to first. Corradini (1:05.32) came in a close second followed by Rothfuss (1:05.43) in third place.
In the men’s Visually Impaired competition, Spain had the edge, with Yon Santacana Maiztegui and guide Galindo Garces picking up two golds. In the first race, Slovakia’s Paralympic bronze-medallist Miroslav Haraus and guide Maria Zatovicova took silver, and USA’s Mark Bathum with guide Slater Storey took bronze. But in race two, Haraus did not finish, leaving second place open to Bathum for the taking and Spain’s Gabriel Juan Gorce Yepes moved into third.
New Zealand’s Adam Hall proved he still has what it takes, picking up his first World Cup gold in the first men’s Super-G Standing (1:00.15). France’s Paralympic silver-medallist Vincent-Manuel Gauthier (1:00.73) came in a very close second, with Switzerland’s Michael Bruegger less than a 10th of a second behind (1:00.80).
Both Hall and Bruegger had a disappointing run in the second event, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. Gauthier-Manuel (1:00.38) moved up into first and Australia’s Mitchell Gourley (1:01.22) took silver. Switzerland’s Thomas Pfyl came in third in 1:01.26.
In the first men’s Super-G Sitting, Japan’s Paralympic bronze-medallist Taiki Morii, the race favourite, failed to medal after being disqualified for missing a gate. Gold went to Switzerland’s Christoph Kunz (57:57). USA’s Tyler Walker (58:05) and France’s Cyril More (58.32) took silver and bronze, respectively.
In the second race, Kunz (1:00.45) had a disappointing run, finishing fifth. Morii (58.35) bounced back to take gold, leaving Walker (59.09) and More (59.16) with silver and bronze again.
Racing continues on Wednesday (7 March) with the Giant Slalom.