- Tyler Walker wins silver in the men’s sitting giant slalom.
- The medal marked the first of the four-time Paralympian’s career.
- Team USA posted five top-10 finishes in giant slalom.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Day four of the alpine skiing competition at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was highlighted by a silver-medal performance courtesy of Tyler Walker (Franconia, New Hampshire) in the men’s sitting giant slalom Wednesday afternoon. The medal is the first of the four-time Paralympian’s career.
After a horrific crash in Sochi four years ago in the men’s sitting downhill, Walker found redemption with a historic giant slalom that saw him land a spot on the podium. He put up the top time in the first giant slalom run with a mark of 1:06.30, besting the field by 1.18 seconds. His time of 1:07.49 in the second run secured silver for Team USA, the fourth alpine skiing medal of the Games.
Additional top-10 finishers included: Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Mass./women’s sitting), Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colo./men’s standing), Danelle Umstead (Park City, Utah/women’s visually impaired) and Rob Umstead (Park City, Utah/guide), Ally Kunkel (Steamboat, Colo./women’s standing), Staci Mannella (Randolph, N.J./women’s visually impaired) and Sadie DeBaun (Park City, Utah/guide), and Stephanie Jallen (Harding, Pa./women’s standing).
2nd: Tyler Walker (Franconia, N.H./men’s sitting)
7th: Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Mass./women’s sitting), Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colo./men’s standing)
8th: Danelle Umstead (Park City, Utah/women’s visually impaired) and Rob Umstead (Park City, Utah/guide), Ally Kunkel (Steamboat, Colo./women’s standing)
10th: Staci Mannella (Randolph, N.J./women’s visually impaired) and Sadie DeBaun (Park City, Utah/guide), Stephanie Jallen (Harding, Pa./women’s standing)
14th: Jamie Stanton (Oakland Township, Mich./men’s standing)
24th: Connor Hogan (Foxborough, Mass./men’s standing)
29th: Spencer Wood (Pittsfield, Vt./men’s standing)
On his comeback from Sochi to winning a silver medal in PyeongChang...
"It took so much work to get back to skiing fast again. It was a lot of years of trying to push past the mental boundaries that that experience put on me. I had to make my body strong again and then had to figure out how I work best as an athlete. It was a very difficult thing to do, but today it all worked out."
On whether he thought he would compete again after Sochi...
"I often wondered if it was worth it after that experience. But this whole sport, and the places we go, the people we meet, make it such an awesome job. I love that part. That's what kept me going."
On winning his first Paralympic medal in his fourth Paralympic Games...
"I don't know how to describe four Paralympics. Fifteen seasons. A whole lifetime of dreaming of this. It's hard to put that down into a single statement. It's unreal. A lot of hard work has been put into this. I've got amazing coaches and teammates that have gotten me through this whole process and have made it an amazing career."
"An athletic career has so many ups and downs, and I've been to the very bottom and to the very top. It can be such a wild ride. If you want it badly enough, it will happen. It may take a really long time, but if you hang onto the right goals it can happen."
U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Medal Count: 4
Gold: 1 - Kurka (downhill)
Silver: 2 - Kurka (super-G), Walker (GS)
Bronze: 1 - Stephens (downhill)
The alpine skiing competition pauses until Saturday as both Thursday and Friday are now scheduled off days. The men’s slalom restarts the action at 9:30 a.m. KST (Saturday, March 17)/8:30 p.m. EST (Friday, March 16).
NBC Olympics is providing 250 hours of coverage from PyeongChang, including 94 hours on television, which is NBC Olympics’ most ever for a Paralympic Winter Games. View the complete TV and streaming schedule here.