Strong start by alpine team at Copper Mountain NORAM

By Katie Branham | Dec. 07, 2013, 7:59 p.m. (ET)

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. –  Frigid single-digit temperatures did not stop members of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team from finishing atop the podium in the super-G races at the first IPC Alpine Skiing NorAm Cup of the season.

The best U.S. performance of the day came in women’s sitting division super-G as Laurie Stephens and Stephani Victor claimed the top two spots on the podium.  Stephens, a three-time Paralympic Winter Games medalist, won gold, with four-time medalist Victor claiming the runner-up spot.

Allison Jones
 Allison Jones won the women's super-G at Copper Mountain.

Allison Jones is a Paralympic gold medalist in both cycling and skiing. She clearly felt at home on the slope after the transition from the cycling season as she won the women’s standing division .

On the men’s side, 2010 Paralympic Winter Games silver medalist Mark Bathum and his guide Storey Slater were in top form as they claimed the win in the men’s visually impaired super-G.

Tyler Walker put the American men on the podium in the sitting division as he finished second.

While the race is not a world cup, athletes will earn points that help determine world rankings and qualification for IPC Alpine Skiing World Cups and Paralympic events. Scoring is based on finishing place, with athletes aiming for as few points as possible. To qualify for world cups and ultimately the Paralympic Winter Games in each discipline, athletes must remain under a certain point threshold.

Competition at Copper Mountain runs through Dec. 12, with the next IPC Alpine Skiing NorAm set for Jan. 1-3, 2014 in Winter Park, Colo.

For more information, please contact Katie Branham, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-237-9407 or