| Mark Bathum and guide Cade Yamamoto won two gold medals at the Panorama world cup
PANORAMA, B.C. – Mark Bathum closed out a successful campaign at the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing World Cup at Panorama Mountain Village with a gold medal in the men’s super-G competition today.
Bathum (Mercer Island, Wash.) and his guide Cade Yamamoto (Quincy, Wash.) made three trips to the podium at this week’s world cup competition, winning the super-G and downhill and taking second in the giant slalom in the men’s visually impaired classification.
While Bathum excelled on the slopes, it was a day of mixed emotions for his family, as Mark’s father Roy passed away earlier in the day.
“My dad was my biggest supporter, and when I got my silver medal in downhill in Vancouver, I dedicated that performance to him,” Bathum said. “He loved to ski, and he was my motivation in the sport.”
Bathum honored his father’s memory by winning the super-G by the largest margin of victory in any of the men’s visually impaired races this week. In the one-run race, Bathum finished more than a second ahead of Canada’s Mac Marcoux who took the runner-up spot.
“We had a very good early season in Copper Mountain, so I had been expecting to do well,” Bathum said. “But I also saw how much my competitors have been improving this year, and I knew I would have to pick up my game, so I didn’t expect to do quite this well. I’m absolutely thrilled and ecstatic with my performances. This gives me a ton of motivation for the Paralympics and to train hard for the next seven weeks.”
On the women’s side, seven-time Paralympic medalist Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.), made her third trip to the podium in the standing class. Jones won bronze in the super-G after finishing third in both the downhill and giant slalom earlier in competition.
Three-time Paralympic gold medalist Alana Nichols (Farmington, N.M.) crossed the line less than a second back from Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany to finish as the runner-up in the women’s sitting super-G. Earlier in the week, Nichols won silver in the downhill and bronze in the super combined. This was Nichols’ first world cup since her return from a training accident left her with three torn shoulder ligaments last summer.
Overall, Team USA won 14 medals over four days of competition at the world cup, with three gold, three silver and eight bronze.
After two days off, Team USA will be back in action on Friday at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup at Copper Mountain, Colo. The world cup will also include competition in snowboard cross, which will make its Paralympic debut as a part of the alpine skiing program at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
At each world cup event, athletes will earn points that help determine world rankings and qualification for 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.
The U.S. team that will compete in alpine skiing at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be named in February. The snowboard team will also be named next month.
Complete results and more information are available at Paralympic.org.
For more information, please contact Katie Branham, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-866-3302 or Katie.Branham@usoc.org.