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Alpine Roundup: National Team Skiers Take It All In During Austria Training Camp

By Chrös McDougall | Oct. 27, 2020, 1:02 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing Team met this month for the first time since March, and if social media is any indication the athletes basked in their time together on the Hintertux Glacier in Austria.

“So happy to be back on snow,” shared 2018 Paralympian Connor Hogan. “It took 7 months and a lot of hard work but it made it all worth it when sliding on snow.”

Another post a few days later, when the sun came out, included a slideshow that helped drive in the sentiment.

Ravi Drugan, one of two on the 10-person team who have yet to make their Paralympic debut, shared his own stunning vista from the Hotel Alpenhof in Innerrotte, Austria.

The team headed home over the weekend, but not without lots of positive vibes.

“It’s been awesome training in Austria and its bittersweet to have to leave such an amazing place,” Drugan posted, “can’t wait to be back!”

If all goes as planned, the team will be back in Europe later this winter for world cup stops in Switzerland and Russia, while another event is planned for China. The world championships are scheduled for February in Lillehammer, Norway, as part of a historic joint event also featuring world championships in Nordic skiing and snowboarding.

“The trip to @hintertuxergletscher might have been cut short but it was worth it!” posted 2018 Paralympian Thomas Walsh. “I was happy to make a few solid turns and to share that American pride 🇺🇸 Now its time for some self-isolation before I can enjoy the winter here at home in Vail!”


Jamie Stanton Gets Engaged

Jamie Stanton had reason to celebrate this month. The Paralympic bronze medalist proposed to girlfriend Shaleigh Smith, and she said yes!

Stanton, an Oakland Township, Michigan, native who competed in the 2014 and 2018 Paralympics and won a slalom bronze medal in the latter, dropped to a knee while on an idyllic fall hike to pop the question. The happy couple then posed for some pictures in front of a glistening Lake Tahoe.


Danelle Umstead Is Working Her Way Back

Three-time Paralympian Danelle Umstead hasn’t skied since breaking her tibia and fibula during a training run in February, but she could be back on the slopes soon.

In the meantime, she shared some pictures of another recent endeavor: a new barn the couple is building.

“Downstairs is for a gym, and fun stuff,” she said in an Oct. 14 post. “Upstairs will be for friends and family. This has been in the works for a long time. So excited finally started our project. Hoping to get it closed up before Winter comes ❄️"


Around the Slopes

Alana Nichols, a five-time U.S. Paralympian who competed in two Winter Games as an alpine skier, was among those listed as a “special guest” as the Women’s Sports Foundation celebrated its annual Salute to Women’s Sports fundraiser in a virtual setting earlier this month. Nichols, who also went to two Paralympics as a wheelchair basketball player and one as a canoeist, was featured in a segment alongside fellow Paralympians Oksana Masters and Scout Bassett promoting accessibility equality in sports. Nichols won six Paralympic medals in her career, with five of them coming as a skier. …

Paralympic stars advocate for accessibility equality in sports

For those keeping count, there are now fewer than 500 days until the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games begin in Beijing. The International Paralympics Committee marked the 500-day mark on Oct. 20 with a video previewing the 2022 venues. The 2022 Games will mark the first time a Winter Paralympics is held in China. The Summer Games were also in Beijing in 2008. …


Kenny LaCome, a 2002 U.S. Paralympian in alpine skiing, has since transitioned over to Nordic skiing. Now 60 and living in Questa, New Mexico, he shared his story with the Albuquerque Journal. …

Up to the Challenge: Kenny LaCome

Those in the Tahoe area can drink some beer for a good cause this month as Alibi Ale Works Truckee Public House, Truckee Brewing Company and FiftyFifty Brewing Company are coming together throughout October for the 31st Foam Fest, an event that raises money for Achieve Tahoe adaptive ski programs. …

Truckee breweries come together to support Achieve Tahoe

Liz Craveiro, a longtime and accomplished adaptive skiing instructor, is taking over as program director at AbilityPlus Adaptive Sports in New Hampshire. Craveiro has been teaching alpine and adaptive alpine skiing since 1988 and has coached Paralympians including Tyler Walker. …

Adaptive sports program names winter program director

Chris Waddell, the most decorated male monoskier in U.S. history with 12 Paralympic medals (five of them gold), has started a podcast called “Chris Waddell Living It.” Among his first guests was none other than Alana Nichols.

Chris Waddell Living It Podcast

Chrös McDougall

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 and is a contributor to USParaAlpine.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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Alana Nichols

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