U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing Names Team For 2019 World Championships

By Brianna Tammaro | Jan. 15, 2019, 5:04 p.m. (ET)
Andrew Kurka competes in alpine skiing at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.  Paralympic champion Andrew Kurka, seen above competing at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, headlines the U.S. roster competing at the 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Nine skiers, including one guide, were selected to represent Team USA at the 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships as announced today by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Seven of the nine athletes on the team competed at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 where the U.S. won six medals in alpine skiing. 

“We’re excited to return for our first major championships since the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang,” said Kevin Jardine, director of U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding. “This will be a big test for our team after a limited season on snow, but we have a young and motivated group of athletes who are ready to compete for the podium. We can’t wait to see who steps up to the challenge.”

Headlining the U.S. roster are Paralympic medalists Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska) and Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts). In PyeongChang, Kurka won two Paralympic medals including gold in the men’s downhill sitting to become the first American man to win gold in alpine skiing since 2006. Stephens finished on the podium in her fourth consecutive Winter Games, capturing bronze in the women’s downhill sitting to bring her career total up to seven medals as the most decorated member of the U.S. alpine team.

At the last edition of the world championships in 2017, Team USA collected five medals led by a standout performance from Kurka who captured three medals, including his first world title in the downhill event. 

Team USA will take to the snow for the first time at a major event this season after cancellations on the world cup circuit due to weather and snow conditions. The 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships will take place in two countries for the first time in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia and Sella Nevea, Italy from Jan. 21-Feb. 1. Athletes will compete in giant slalom, slalom, super-G, downhill and super combined. 

Follow U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for additional updates.

2019 U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing World Championships Team
*Denotes U.S. Paralympian

Name Hometown Classification
Anna Beninati Park City, Utah LW12-2
*Kevin Burton Erie, Colo. B2
Kurt Grimmelmann West Milford, N.J. Guide
*Andrew Haraghey Enfield, Conn. LW1
*Connor Hogan Foxborough, Mass. LW9-1
*Andrew Kurka Palmer, Alaska LW12-1
*Laurie Stephens Wenham, Mass. LW12-1
*Thomas Walsh Vail, Colo. LW4
*Spencer Wood Pittsfield, Vt. LW9-2