The 2018 Winter Paralympic Games kick off with opening ceremonies on March 9th and run until March 18th. Over the next few weeks we’ll be previewing each sport starting today with Alpine Skiing!
Alpine Skiing will be held throughout the entirety of the Paralympics from March 10 – 18. Medals will be awarded on seven of the nine days including some of the first medals awarded on day one!
Like many adaptive sports, Alpine Skiing was created in the mid 20th Century when injured World War II veterans in Europe started to adapt their equipment to suit their needs. Alpine skiing was one of the foundation sports of the first Winter Paralympic games in 1976 alongside Cross Country Skiing. Initially, only slalom and giant slalom events were held, but it has been expanded throughout the years to include downhill, super G, and combined as well.
In PyeongChang, events will be held for standing, sitting and visually impaired skiers in women’s and men’s categories in all five Alpine Skiing events. Adaptive equipment used by these athletes includes one or two skis, outrigger skis, and sit-skis. Visually impaired skiers have a guide with them, communicating by voice or radio.
Some of the standout skiers from Sochi 2014 include Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany (Gold medalist in all five sitting events!) and Marie Bochet of France on the Women’s side along with Markus Salcher of Austria and Akira Kano of Japan from the Men’s competition. We’ll be looking forward to seeing them defend their titles against other world-class athletes such as Stephen Lawler and Team USA newcomer, Andrew Kurka!
If you haven’t already, check out our initial preview of the Paralympics and then stay tuned for the rest of the sport previews and exciting news coming out of PyeongChang! We’re still waiting on the full schedule, both for individual events and broadcasts (although it’s looking very promising!) but we will update here as soon as we hear more!