Thomas Walsh competes in the Lillehammer 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships.
LILLEHAMMER, NORWAY – Paralympian Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colorado) finished his penultimate run in Lillehammer by grabbing a top-10 finish in the men’s slalom standing class after a combined time of 1:35.46. Walsh, who has competed in every alpine event during the 2021 World Para Sports Championships, will return to the slopes for one final competition on Jan. 23 in the parallel event. Walsh also secured a fourth-place rank in the super-combined, sixth in the giant slalom and 11th in the downhill. France’s Arthur Bauchet was crowned with the gold, Adam Hall of New Zealand took silver and Alexander Alyabyev from RPC won bronze.
“With Beijing coming up, it’s a good eye opener for me on what to work on,” said Walsh. “I wasn’t able to achieve everything that I wanted here but I know that I’m still skiing and just coming back from injury and back to the circuit in this race environment, it’s challenging.”
American newcomer Patrick Halgren (Winter Park, Colorado) took home his best finish of the championships with a 22nd place finish in the standing class. Halgren was all smiles in his international debut and plans to continue on to race at the remaining Para alpine world cups.
“It’s hard to put [this experience] into words but life coming full circle and watching all my dreams come true, I’m trying to soak it up like a sponge and live in the moment,” said Halgren. “I’m having so much fun and will remember this experience for the rest of my life.”
Team USA began the day with eight competitors who were all able to complete the first run however a difficult course knocked the remaining six out of contention including Spencer Wood (Pittsfield, Vermont), Andrew Haraghey (Endfield, Connecticut), Ravi Drugan (Eugene, Oregon), Jesse Keefe (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Martin Moxley (Grand Junction, CO). Jasmin Bambur (Granby, Colorado) did not start the second half of the men’s sitting race. Overall, 17 athletes were unable to complete the second run of the day.
Recent giant slalom world champion Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts) will headline Saturday’s women’s competition with hopes of winning her second medal of the championships. Stephens will be joined by teammate Allie Johnson (Chicago, Illinois) who is looking to take home her first podium finish.
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