U.S. Paralympics Alp... News Walsh ends Team USA’...

Walsh ends Team USA’s run in Lillehammer with top-16 finish in parallel

By Annemarie Blanco | Jan. 23, 2022, 11:16 a.m. (ET)

LILLEHAMMER, NORWAY – It was another strong finish for Paralympian Thomas Walsh (Vail, Colorado) who ended the day with in the top 16 in the parallel event on the final day of world championship competition in Lillehammer. Walsh was the sole U.S. competitor to advance from qualifications after taking the sixth-best time in Sunday’s first round. The Paralympian fought a tough battle in both runs against Italy’s Giacomo Bertagnolli but ultimately was unable to advance to the quarterfinals. Walsh ends his 2021 championship run with three top-10 performances including fourth in the super-combined.  


“Today was super fun,” said Walsh. “It was a great and I’m glad I skied well enough to make the finals. There are still a few kinks to work out regarding this discipline but overall today was just a fun exciting day.”

In the qualification round for the women, two-time Lillehammer medalist Laurie Stephens (Wenham, Massachusetts) grabbed a 10th-place finish on the blue course with a time of 32.42 while teammate Allie Johnson (Chicago, Illinois) went 11th on the red course ending in 31.38. In addition to Walsh, 10 other American men set out for glory on the slopes for the last event. Paralympian Spencer Wood (Pittsfield, Vermon) took the next-best finish for Team USA, registering the 11th-best time on the red line with Ravi Drugan (Eugene, Oregon) and Jesse Keefe (Sun Valley, Idaho) not far behind ending 17th and 18th, respectively. Connor Hogan (Foxborough, Massachusetts) registered a 22nd-place finish and Andrew Haraghey (Enfield, Connecticut) took 27th.  


On the blue course, Paralympian Tyler Carter (Topton, Pennsylvania) grabbed an 18th-place followed by Robert Enigl (Bozeman, Montana) ending 23rd and Jasmin Bambur (Granby, Colorado) taking the 24th place. Andrew Kurka (Palmer, Alaska) did not start while Patrick Halgren (Winter Park, Colorado) and Kyle Taulman (Winter Park, Colorado) were unable to finish.  


Team USA leaves the Lillehammer 2021 World Para Snow Sport Championships with four medals as Paralympic champions Laurie Stephens and Andrew Kurka each appeared on the podium twice. Stephens took home the sole gold for the Americans after a nine-year drought with spectacular performance in the women’s sitting giant slalom and followed up with her first major championship medal in the slalom. It was two bronze medals for Kurka, one in his signature event, the men’s sitting downhill, along with another in the giant slalom. The veteran athletes are poised to lead the U.S. at the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 which begin on March 4.  


There’s no rest for Team USA as the team heads to Åre, Sweden next for the final stop on the world cup circuit which runs from Jan. 27-30 before the Paralympic team will be named. The official U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing roster for Beijing is set to be released on Feb. 16.  


Follow U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about Team USA.  


For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Annemarie Blanco at Annemarie.blanco@usopc.org.