- Tyler Walker finished second in the men’s sitting slalom to win his second medal of both the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and his Paralympic career.
- Jamie Stanton claimed bronze in the men’s standing slalom to secure the first medal of his Paralympic career.
- Team USA’s medal total in Para alpine skiing at the Games is now six.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Team USA collected two medals on the penultimate competition day of alpine skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 thanks to a silver-medal performance from Tyler Walker (Franconia, New Hampshire) in the men’s sitting slalom and a bronze-medal effort courtesy of Jamie Stanton (Oakland Township, Michigan) in the men’s standing slalom. The silver is the second Paralympic Winter Games medal for Walker and Stanton’s bronze is the first of his career.
Walker posted the second-fastest time in the first run of the men’s sitting slalom, recording a 49.08 to start the day. He followed with a mark of 51.47 in the second run for a total time of 1:40.55 to earn his second silver in PyeongChang. Walker won silver in the men’s sitting giant slalom three days prior.
Stanton made quick work of the slalom course with an opening run of 48.51, earning the top seed heading into the second run. The Michigan native then posted a time of 48.86 in run two for a total time of 1:37.37 to win bronze. Stanton’s bronze sealed redemption after just missing the podium in the men’s standing super combined, where he finished fourth.
2nd: Tyler Walker (Franconia, N.H./men’s sitting)
3rd: Jamie Stanton (Oakland Township, Mich./men’s standing)
5th: Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colo./men’s standing)
19th: Tyler Carter (Topton, Pa./men’s standing)
On how it feels to be a Paralympic medalist…
“Oh my gosh, it’s absolutely incredible. It’s been an awesome seven years, but it’s been a tough seven years. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot but I feel like it all paid off today. This moment, I can’t quite put it into words yet. I’m so happy everything I’ve always worked for finally paid off.”
On representing Team USA at the Paralympics…
“It’s an absolute honor to represent Team USA. I absolutely love our country and love everything about it. And to be on the world’s biggest stage and have Team USA on your shoulders and across your back is awesome. To know that the whole country is behind you and watching and supporting, it’s incredible. I think that Paralympians are able to do some extraordinary things and I couldn’t be more proud to represent my country.”
On motivating himself during low points…
“My lowest point would be, I broke my ankle in my good leg back in February of 2016, so just over two years ago. Really the biggest thing is I hate to lose, and I wanted to find the top step of the podium again. I just pushed myself as hard as I could, no matter if it was in the gym or on the slopes. I was very disciplined with everything I ate, and before I knew it stuff was falling into place and the hard work was paying off.”
On winning his silver medals in his comeback from Sochi...
“This week has been unreal for me. In giant slalom, I got all my years of frustration and emotion out. This was a completely different experience. I just went and skied today, had fun and worried a whole lot less and just got this peace in slalom which is a ton of fun to me. It still feels unreal. It’s amazing. I still can’t believe that happened — no words.”
“In the last few years, I wanted to quit quite a few times. It was immensely frustrating. I was at the lowest I could possibly imagine feeling. I had to work my way back up. This has made all that work and effort worth it.”
On what lessons he’s learned in PyeongChang...
“Work really, really hard for a long time, have the right goals and surround yourself with the right people and you can accomplish whatever you want. You can come back from a horrible place. I felt such a sense of pride and accomplishment that I didn’t know that I could feel. Fifteen years of hard work, a lifetime of skiing finally paying off at the highest level — that sense of accomplishment, I had no idea what that felt like.”
“I’ve had so many negative experiences that shortly before the Games, I was convinced that this was just my lot in life: having fairly good success at the world cup level, but at this level it’s just not going to happen for me. I accepted that. It wasn’t a healthy mindset at all. I prepared myself as much as possible so that I could at least go into the Games knowing I’ve done everything I could do. I did not think at all that ‘I’m going to win this race and crush this run.’ I’ve always focused on the process and when I can do that, success follows. That was my focus coming into these Games.”
On representing Team USA at the Paralympics…
“I’ve trained really hard for this opportunity to represent an entire country and everything that country represents. It’s powerful. It tingles up my spine. Our country is really diverse and pretty amazing in a lot of ways. I’m thrilled to represent them.”
U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Medal Count: 6
Gold: 1 - Andrew Kurka (downhill)
Silver: 3 - Andrew Kurka (super-G), Tyler Walker (giant slalom, slalom)
Bronze: 2 - Laurie Stephens (downhill), Jamie Stanton (slalom)
The alpine skiing competition comes to a finish tomorrow with the women’s slalom event. Skiers hit the slopes at 9:30 a.m. KST (Sunday, March 18)/8:30 p.m. EST (Saturday, March 17).
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.