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    Alpine Skiing | Athlete Profile: Andrew KURKA - Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games

    Athlete Profile - Andrew KURKA

    Andrew KURKA
    Birth Date:  27 Jan 1992
    Age:  26
    Gender:   Male


    Andrew KURKA - Schedule

    Start Time Event Status
    Wed, 7 Mar 12:00EST
    Men's Downhill, Sitting 1st Training Run
    Sat, 10 Mar 11:57EST
    Men's Downhill, Sitting
    Sun, 11 Mar 12:12EST
    Men's Super-G, Sitting
    Tue, 13 Mar 12:25EST
    Men's Super Combined, Sitting Super-G
    Tue, 13 Mar 16:42EST
    Men's Super Combined, Sitting Slalom
    Wed, 14 Mar Followed by
    Men's Giant Slalom, Sitting Run 1


    DNF: Did not finish
    EST: Estimated Start Time

    Biographical Information

    World Championships
    1Downhill, Sitting2017Tarvisio, ITA1:11.55
    2Giant Slalom, Sitting2017Tarvisio, ITA2:17.32
    3Super-G, Sitting2017Tarvisio, ITA1:05.08
    3Super-G, Sitting2015Panorama, BC, CAN1:21.32
    6Downhill, Sitting2015Panorama, BC, CAN1:30.78
    25Super-G, Sitting2013La Molina, ESP1:22.33
    DNFSlalom, Sitting2017Tarvisio, ITADNF
    DNFSuper Combined, Sitting2017Tarvisio, ITADNF
    DNFGiant Slalom, Sitting2015Panorama, BC, CANDNF
    DNFDownhill, Sitting2013La Molina, ESPDNF
    DNFSlalom, Sitting2013La Molina, ESPDNF
    DNFGiant Slalom, Sitting2013La Molina, ESPDNF
    DNFSuper Combined, Sitting2013La Molina, ESPDNF
    Hobbies Fishing, cycling, hunting, cooking, spending time with family, wrestling, American football, bodybuilding. (Facebook profile, 19 Sep 2017; Facebook page, 18 Sep 2017; paralympic.org, 31 Jan 2017)
    Occupation Athlete, Media Professional - Radio
    Languages spoken English, German
    Club name Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club [United States of America]
    Coach Ben Black [national] (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
    Other sports He had ambitions to compete at an Olympic Games in Greco-Roman wrestling before his accident. One year after breaking his back, he won a sixth Alaska state championship by beating able-bodied opponents. (radiofreepalmer.org, 20 Aug 2012; dsusa.org, 30 Dec 2010)
    Debut 2012 for United States of America, in Winter Park, CO, United States of America (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
    Injuries A broken thigh bone prevented him from competing at the 2015 Winter X Games in Aspen, CO, United States of America. (teamusa.org, 08 Mar 2017; paralympic.org, 27 Dec 2015)

    He broke his back during his first training run at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, and was unable to compete at the Games. (ktuu.com, 09 Mar 2014)

    He broke his back on a practice run ahead of the 2011 Winter X Games in Aspen. He required six months of rehabilitation. (radiofreepalmer.org, 20 Aug 2012; anchoragepress.com, 03 Nov 2011)

    He underwent shoulder surgery in 2010. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)

    He broke his right ankle during the downhill event of the 2009 National Championships in Great Sky, MT, United States of America. (anchoragepress.com, 03 Nov 2011)

    He suffered a broken back in 2005. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
    Start He began skiing in 2008 at age 15 in Alaska, United States of America. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
    Reason His physical therapist Anne Thomas took him to his first monoski lesson. "It was a independent individual sport that my fearless attitude was able to naturally excel at." (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; ktuu.com, 09 Mar 2014; thenorthernlight.org, 09 Nov 2010)
    Ambition To win a medal at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and to open a bed and breakfast lodging when he retires in Alaska, United States of America. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; teamusa.org, 08 Mar 2017)
    Memorable Achievement Being the first monoskier to ski the Christmas Chute in Alaska, United States of America. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
    Hero US Para alpine skiers Chris Devlin-Young and Tyler Walker. (adaptivespirit.org, 27 May 2012)
    Philosophy "Life's short, live it fast." (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
    Additional information

    LW12-1 (IPC, 18 Feb 2018)

    Type of Impairment
    Spinal Cord Injuries (radiofreepalmer.org, 17 Aug 2012)

    Origin of Impairment
    Acquired (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)

    Impairment Details
    He broke his back at age 13 in a four-wheel motorbike accident in Alaska, United States of America. He damaged three vertebrae in his spinal cord, resulting in partial paraplegia. "I was going out fishing, flipped the four-wheeler which landed on me, and broke my back. I completely lost the feeling and movement in the lower half of my body. It took about six months of hard work to get any sensation back, and then I got a little feeling and a little movement and started being able to get around in leg braces." (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; radiofreepalmer.org, 17 Aug 2012; anchoragepress.com, 03 Nov 2011; dsusa.org, 30 Dec 2010)

    He works as a radio DJ and host for Classic Country 100.9, a radio station in Wasilla, AK, United States of America. (Facebook profile, 19 Sep 2017)

    He volunteers as an athlete mentor for Classroom Champions, a non-profit organisation in the United States of America that supports students from underserved communities. (teamusa.org, 07 Mar 2018)

    After being told by a doctor that there would be limits to what he could do following his accident, he was determined to prove him wrong. "I told him I'd walk into his office one day and do a somersault, and he said that I wasn't being realistic. Well, that's someone telling me I can't do something, so three months later, I stood up in his office, took off my leg braces, and did a full somersault. It wasn't pretty, but I did it." (anchoragepress.com, 03 Nov 2011)

    Social Media


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