The 2013 International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing World Championships concluded Team USA is on their way home with three medals. Throughout super G, downhill, super combined, slalom and giant slalom events, the U.S. alpine skiers sped down the hills of La Molina, Spain, showcasing what all their training had been for.
The world championships opened in La Molina on Feb. 18. The first medals were awarded on Feb. 20 including a gold medal for Team USA in the downhill sitting category to Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Mass.).
The men’s downhill also saw a silver medal be given to U.S. sit skier Stephen Lawler (Burlington, Vt.) for his 1:38.52 run, just a fraction off the gold medal time. Chris Devlin-Young (Campton, N.H.) was not far behind, coming in fifth with a time of 1:33.99. Ralph Green (Vail, Colo.) placed eighth for the men’s standing class.
Stephens made another podium appearance in the super G sitting event where she wore the bronze medal for a 1:23.33 run. For men’s super G, Mark Bathum (Seattle, WA) placed seventh for the visually impaired class with his guide Sean Ramsden.
Over the course of the following six days, the worlds had final runs one and two for Feb. 24, 25, 26 and the non-medal team finals on Feb. 27. Sunday’s finishes included Stephani Victor (Park City, Utah) and Heath Calhoun (Clarksville, Tenn.) both in fifth place for the slalom sitting event.
Monday’s super combined event resulted in two fourth place finishes for Team USA with Danelle Umstead (Park City, Utah), guided by her husband Rob, for visually impaired and Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) for the standing class. Sitting super combined landed Stephens in fifth place with Victor and Alana Nichols right behind in sixth and seventh. Calhoun brought men’s sit skiing to sixth place.
The giant slalom events on Tuesday put Nichols (2:43.72) and Victor (2:55.25) in fifth and sixth for the women’s sitting class and Umstead in fifth for women’s visually impaired.
The last day of competition ended with Nichols, who missed earlier events after sustaining a minor injury in training, earning first place for women’s sitting event of the team competition, a non-medal event. Team USA finished second overall in the team event.
The U.S. Alpine Skiing National Team will take a week’s rest and next travel to Sochi, Russia for the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Final, March 7-12. The event serves as a test event for the Paralympic Winter Games, which Sochi will host March 7-16, 2014.