USA’s Tyler Walker celebrated his comeback after his horrendous crash at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games by winning the men’s slalom and giant slalom sitting at the first NorAm Cup of the 2014-15 season in his hometown Aspen, Colorado, USA, this week (9 and 10 December).
On Tuesday (9 December) the 28-year-old proved he has fully recovered from his crash in Sochi taking first place in the men’s slalom sitting ahead of his compatriot Jasmin Bambur and New Zealand’s Corey Peters.
Just a day later Walker went on to bag his second gold, beating Peters in the men’s giant slalom sitting by 1.68 seconds. Walker’s teammate Christopher Devlin-Young finished in third.
In the women’s sitting category, another Aspen native took advantage of competing on home snow. Laurie Stephens, Paralympic bronze medallist from Sochi, won the slalom and giant slalom respectively. Canada’s Kimberly Joines and Japan’s Yoshiko Tanaka took second and third place in both races.
The NorAm Cup also proved successful for new talents on the alpine skiing circuit.
USA’s Stephanie Jallen stood atop the podium in the women’s giant slalom standing, beating Canada’s Alana Ramsay by just 0.10 seconds. At just 18 years Jallen had already shown her talent in Sochi last March winning two bronze medals. Ramsay’s teammate Erin Latimer came in third.
Ramsay won the women’s slalom standing the day before (9 December), but Jallen did not finish the race. USA’s Melanie Schwartz finished in second, and Latimer in third.
Another young hopeful appeared in the men’s giant slalom standing with 20-year-old James Stanton of the USA taking first place ahead of Canada’s Kirk Schornstein and Braydon Luscombe, who are only 21 and 22 years old respectively.
New Zealand’s Adam Hall, Paralympic gold medallist from Vancouver in 2010, won the men’s slalom standing, 1.68 seconds ahead of Canada’s Matt Hallat and USA’s Ralph Green.
One of Canada’s greatest talents, Mac Marcoux (with his guide Robin Femy), had two first-place finishes in the men’s slalom and giant slalom visually impaired. The 17-year-old Paralympic champion demonstrated his form and proved he is one to watch at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama in his home country.
USA’s Danelle Umstead used the NorAm Cup to test her form, as she was the only competitor in the women’s visually impaired category.
The 2014-15 alpine skiing season will continue with Europa Cup races in Pitztal (15-16 December) and Kuehtai (19-21 December) in Austria, before the first World Cup of the season takes place in La Molina, Spain, from 8-11 January.
The highlight of the season will be the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, Canada, from 28 February to 10 March.