Mike Shea, shown competing at a world cup race in Copper Mountain, Colo., earned back-to-back gold medals at the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing Para-Snowboard World Cup at Big White Ski Resort.
Shea, Dervaes win back-to-back golds at Big White
KELOWNA, B.C. – On Sunday at the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing Para-Snowboard World Cup at Big White Ski Resort, Americans Mike Shea (Castaic, Calif.) and Marc Dervaes (West Chester, Pa.) were golden for the second straight day.
Shea, who won the men’s lower limb snowboard cross race on Saturday, finished his best two of three runs Sunday in a combined time of 2 minutes, 29.2 seconds. U.S. teammate Evan Strong (Nevada City, Calif.) was just 1.31 seconds behind to claim silver.
Shea’s gold-medal performance was his fourth in just over two months of world cup competition, placing him comfortably at No. 1 in the season’s world cup standings.
Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah), who earned silver Saturday in Team USA’s men’s podium sweep, crashed on his third run and finished sixth.
In the men’s upper limb race, Dervaes claimed gold in commanding fashion, as his combined time of 2:42.9 was 17.3 seconds ahead of second-place Matthew Robinson of Australia.
Amy Purdy (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colo.) had strong performances in the women’s lower limb races, taking silver and bronze respectively. Purdy finished her fastest two of three runs in 3:04.16, with Duce recording a combined time of 3:08.17.
Purdy was 22.04 seconds off of winner Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands, who claimed her second straight gold after finishing atop the podium in Saturday’s race.
Over the two days of competition at Big White, Team USA earned a total of 11 medals, including four golds, four silvers and three bronzes.
Team USA will head to La Molina, Spain, for the IPC Alpine Skiing Para-Snowboard World Cup Final from Feb. 10-12. The races in La Molina will be the last before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which are set for March 7-16. In Sochi, snowboard cross for athletes with a lower limb impairment will make its Games debut as a part of the alpine skiing program. The U.S. Paralympic Snowboarding Team will be nominated in early February.
At world cup events, athletes 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.
Complete results and additional information are available at Paralympic.org.