Noah Elliott competes at the Para Snowboard World Cup on Sept. 2, 2017 in Wanaka, New Zealand.
It’s been a year since Team USA’s Para snowboarders took to the slopes at a world cup, but they don’t appear to have missed a beat with two riders winning gold and five athletes in all earning medals on the first day of the world cup in Colere, Italy.
Paralympic gold medalist Noah Elliott and Paralympic medalist Keith Gabel landed atop the podium with their wins in men’s snowboardcross LL1 and LL2, respectively. Paralympic gold medalist Mike Schultz won silver in LL1 and Joe Pleban won bronze in LL2. Two-time Paralympic gold medalist Brenna Huckaby, making her return to international competition since giving birth to her daughter Sloan last January, won a bronze medal in women’s LL2.
Both Elliott and Gabel expressed excitement on social media for not only their hardware but simply getting back to competition.
“Great day 1 of SBX in Italy!” Elliott wrote on Instagram. “Great racing & super fun runs. Stoked to be at the top of the podium today!”
“1 down and 1 to go,” Gabel wrote, looking ahead to the second day of the world cup on Friday.
Also competing in Colere for Team USA are Paralympian Tyler Burdick, Paralympic medalist Brittani Coury, Zach Miller and Paralympian Michael Spivey. A new addition to the world cup calendar, the Italy event is the last world cup of the season, but it’s the first one for Team USA in a year. With the world championships and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 coming in less than a year, the world cup serves as an important tune-up as the athletes look ahead.