Mark Bathum competes in the men's slalom visually impaired race on Day 6 of the Paralympic Winter Games.
Bathum leads Team USA with fourth place in mens slalom
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - Mark Bathum and guide Cade Yamamoto finished fourth in the men’s visually impaired slalom to lead Team USA in a cold night of racing under the lights at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
“My slalom needs a lot of work," Bathum said. "The effort was there but the execution may not have been there. As good as a guide as Cade is, he is an even better coach. He had me skiing a couple of great days of slalom this year but I was not able to replicate that here on the hill today. Slalom is a heck of a lot of fun, we had a blast out there today."
Only half a second separated Bathum (Seattle, Wash.) and Yamamoto (Quincy, Wash.) from the podium. After finishing eighth on the first run, Bathum came back to clock the third fastest time on the second run to finish fourth overall. Bathum won silver in the super-G and finished fifth in the downhill earlier in the week.
Gerald Hayden (Winter Park, Colo.) narrowly avoided crashing at the bottom of the first run, and pulled off a dramatic recovery to manage an 11th place finish for the first run. Hayden came back with the eighth fastest time of the second run to crack the top-ten overall with a ninth place finish in the men’s sitting class.
After the first run in the men’s sitting class, Jasmin Bambur (Granby, Colo.) was in 10th, Heath Calhoun (Bristol, Tenn.) was 13th, and Scott Meyer (Frisco, Colo.) was in 20th; however, all three men crashed on the second run and did not complete the course.
“It was a tough course," said Calhoun, U.S. Army veteran. "I tried to go out and give it my all. I got stuck on an edge and got hung up couldn't get back around and lost it. At the end of the day that's ski racing. It's not about having the best run every time you've got to push so hard so sometimes you just end up with what you get.”
Ralph Green (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the U.S. contingent in the men’s standing slalom with his 17th place finish, while Jamie Stanton (Oakland Township, Mich.) was 22nd and Ian Jansing (Granby, Colo.) was 28th. Patrick Parnell (Columbia, Conn.) and Jon Lujan (Littleton, Colo.), a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, were unable to finish the course, with Parnell crashing on the second run, and Lujan missing a gate on the first run.
"I thought my second run was better than my first, I charged it a little better," Green said. "The first one, I don't know what happened with the jitters and everything, but the second one, even though it was rough I skied it better. I still have the giant slalom coming up. The kicker is that I almost quit that event a few years ago. Now I am actually skiing it better than every other event this year. I believe if I come out in giant slalom and ski really well, I can accomplish my goals."
Earlier today, the International Paralympic Committee announced that Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany’s disqualification in Wednesday’s sitting slalom was successfully appealed. With Schaffelhuber receiving the gold medal, American Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Mass.) was knocked off of the podium after originally winning bronze in the slalom. Stephens now has a fourth place result in slalom and two bronze medals in downhill and super-G.
Team USA has won six medals in alpine skiing through Day 6, two silver and four bronze medals.
Alpine skiing competition resumes Friday with the super-G run of the super combined and runs through Sunday, March 16. For complete results and more information, visit Sochi2014.com.