Jones and Bathum continue Copper Mountain NorAm streak
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. – Allison Jones and Mark Bathum continued their gold medal streaks as they added wins in Tuesday’s giant slalom to their medal hauls from the first International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing NorAm Cup of the season.
|Mark Bathum skied to his fourth NorAm win of the week.|
Bathum, a 2010 Paralympic Winter Games silver medalist, and his guide Slater Storey beat the rest of the visually impaired field by nearly a second and a half with their combined time from the two runs of giant slalom. The pair has now won all four events over the course of the competition.
Not to be outdone in the women’s standing giant slalom, Jones picked up her fourth gold medal of the week. Jones clocked the fastest time of the day in both runs of the giant slalom, with her combined time giving her the win with a comfortable margin of nearly two seconds separating her from her nearest competitor.
Melanie Schwartz made her first podium of the competition as she finished third in the standing classification. Schwartz represented Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games and is now competing for the U.S.
After reaching the top of the podium in yesterday’s giant slalom race, Jamie Stanton brought home bronze in the men’s standing division. Stanton had an incredibly close finish with Alexandr Alyabyev of Russia who took second place, with only five-hundredths of a second separating silver from bronze.
Tyler Walker finished second in the men’s sitting giant slalom. Earlier in the week, Walker won gold in the first day of giant slalom and silver in the super-G.
Two American women landed on the podium in the women’s sitting giant slalom race. Three-time Paralympic Winter Games medalist Laurie Stephens won silver, with four-time medalist Victor taking bronze. With today’s podium finishes, Stephens now owns four NorAm medals from this competition, with Victor winning two.
While the race is not a world cup, athletes will earn points that help determine world rankings and qualification for IPC Alpine Skiing World Cups and Paralympic events. Scoring is based on finishing place, with athletes aiming for as few points as possible. To qualify for world cups and ultimately the Paralympic Winter Games in each discipline, athletes must remain under a certain point threshold.
Competition at Copper Mountain runs through Dec. 12, with two days of slalom races remaining on the schedule. The next IPC Alpine Skiing NorAm set for Jan. 1-3, 2014 in Winter Park, Colo.
For more information, please contact Katie Branham, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-237-9407 or Katie.Branham@usoc.org.