Thomas Walsh competes in the Alpine Skiing - Men's Slalom - Standing at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games on March 17, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
Every other Tuesday we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para alpine skiing. Here’s what you missed!
Early Season Injury Slows Andrew Haraghey
U.S. Paralympian Andrew Haraghey’s season is on hold before it could even really begin.
“Well it wasn't how I wanted to start the season... by ending the majority of it my 2nd day back on snow,” he wrote, accompanying pictures of him on a hospital bed as well as an X-ray. “Definitely frustrating but a part of the sport, and just another reason to come back stronger.”
Haraghey, who competed in the downhill and super-G at the PyeongChang Winter Games in 2018, had joined other members of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing Team last month in Austria for a training camp at the Hintertux Glacier. It was the team’s first time together since March.
Several Team USA stars offered their support to Haraghey.
“You got this,” wrote fellow alpine skier Danelle Umstead.
A Sweeter Homecoming
The homecoming was sweeter for U.S. teammate Thomas Walsh, who is back in Vail, Colorado.
“Riding a chairlift makes me feel at home,” he said. “Oh and I am skiing at home! Today’s second day brought some warm weather but it’s nice to be sliding around in North America again!!!”
Athletes Vote, Too!
You might have heard, the U.S. had a little something called an election last week. A record 148 million ballots have already been counted, and there are still more to go. It’s not surprise, then, that U.S. Paralympians and Olympians were among those taking part.
TeamUSA.org compiled a list of social media posts from Team USA stars fulfilling their patriotic duty, and that included three-time Paralympic alpine skier Danelle Umstead and husband/guide Rob Umstead, who voted in Summit County, Utah.
“Every election is determined by the people who voted,” Danelle wrote.
Umstead, who is working her way back into fitness following a bad crash in February, didn’t stop there, later sharing a photo of guide dog Aziza with an American flag scarf and weary eyes “wanting to know if you voted,” she said.
Athletes Also Celebrate Halloween
Trick or treating might have been a bit subdued this Halloween, but that didn’t stop Josh Sundquist from continuing his tradition of going all-out on Oct. 31. Sundquist, a 2006 Paralympian, worked with a professional costume and prop maker to create a stunningly real looking costume of comic book character Groot.
“364 days a year, I am a guy with one leg,” he tweeted. “But today, I am Groot. #Halloween2020"
The outfit was so good that Marvel Entertainment even retweeted Sundquist’s video, to which he responded: “Hi Marvel, your heroes and stories are literally one of the best parts of being alive. Having you share my costume is a life highlight. Really. Sidenote: If Loki ever returns and (actor Tom Hiddleston) is unavailable, keep me in mind.”
Sundquist, who is now a motivational speaker and U.S. amputee soccer player, also posted a collage of his other epic halloween costumes from the past decade.
A decade of Happy Halloweens! pic.twitter.com/O2jNcSYZcH— Josh Sundquist (@JoshSundquist) October 31, 2020
Here are a few other alpine skiing Paralympians who shared their Halloween costumes to social media this year.
Around the Slopes
The countdown to the first World Para Snow Sports Championships has crossed the 100-day mark. The event, which marks the first time Para alpine, Nordic and snowboarding will be contested together at a world championships, will run Feb. 7-20, 2021, in Lillehammer, Norway. Paralympic.org compiled a list of storylines to watch.
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee has a new director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Nitra Rucker began her new role late last month. A longtime veteran at KeyCorp, Rucker most recently served as vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion engagement manager.
“It's imperative that we make impactful change at the USOPC, and in the Olympic and Paralympic movements, and we have the utmost confidence in Nitra’s ability to make us a stronger and more representative community,” Bobbi McPherson, the USOPC’s chief people officer, said in a press release.