|Eric Eierdam celebrates winning gold at the Para-skeleton World Championship on March 19, 2016 in Park City, Utah.|
Eric Eierdam continued his dominance in Para-skeleton, making history by claiming gold in the inaugural Para-skeleton World Championship on Saturday in Park City, Utah.
Eierdam scorched the track that hosted the 2002 Olympic competition. The two-time overall world cup champion posted the fastest time on each of the four runs down the course.
“It’s taken everything I have, financially, emotionally, relationally, and there was a huge toll on my family,” Eierdam said to USA Bobsled & Skeleton, “but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if there was a track I could dominate on, it was here in Park City.”
His four-run combined time of 3:31.32 was 3.48 seconds ahead of silver medalist Matthew Richardson of Great Britain, who had a time of 3:34.80. Australia’s Brendan Dover won the bronze medal in a time of 3:35.54. American slider Dorian Willies just missed the podium, placing fourth in 3:39.05.
The first Para-bobsled World Championship also was held, with the gold going to Canada’s Lonnie Bissonnette with a time of 3:18.09. The three U.S. entries placed fifth, sixth and seventh. Steven Jacobo led the Americans with a time of 3:20.04, while Jason Sturm, the 2015 world cup champion, was sixth with a 3:20.10. Aaron Lanningham, a pioneer in the sport of disabled bobsled, was seventh in 3:20.22.
The event was the final round of the second world cup season for both sports. Up next is a meeting of the International Paralympic Committee in September, when the body will issue a decision on the application to include Para-skeleton and Para-bobsled in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.