- Three Paralympians prepare to do battle – Para alpine skiers Adam Hall (Vancouver 2010 gold medallist) and Corey Peters (Sochi 2014 silver medallist), plus Para snowboarder Carl Murphy
- Over the next 9 days, New Zealand will contest 7 events: Para alpine skiing Downhill, Super G, Super Combined, Slalom and Giant Slalom, plus Para snowboard Cross and Banked Slalom
- Tonight marks the beginning of New Zealand’s 11th consecutive Paralympic Winter Games, following appearances at every one since the Geilo 1980 Paralympic Winter Games in Norway
- 28 winter Paralympians have represented New Zealand over the past 38 years, winning a combined total of 28 Paralympic Winter Games medals - 15 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze
At the stroke of midnight tonight, Friday 9 March NZT, the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games will get underway in South Korea, played out live on TVNZ DUKE. It will kick off 9 days of live and free-to-air competition, with livestreaming and OnDemand highlights at tvnz.co.nz.
Led by flag-bearer, Corey Peters, the New Zealand Paralympic Team will march into the stadium hoping to pick up the baton of success from the double bronze medal-winning New Zealand Olympic Team. The Team will be chasing a target of two medals in Para alpine skiing and Para snowboarding, hoping to add to the 28 Paralympic Winter Games medals New Zealand Paralympians have brought home since 1980, a total so far including 15 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze. New Zealand will compete in two of the six Para sports being contested in South Korea by more than 670 athletes from 45 countries between 9-18 March.
Whilst small, the New Zealand Team is composed of three very experienced Paralympians. Vancouver 2010 gold medallist, Adam Hall, will compete in his fourth Paralympics, entering PyeongChang 2018 ranked 3rd and 8th in the world in Men’s Downhill Standing and Slalom Standing respectively. The Dunedin local will contest four Men’s Standing events, including Downhill, Slalom, Super-G and Super Combined. Hall’s Spina bifida sees him race in sport class LW1, for athletes with significant leg muscle weakness.
Sochi 2014 silver medallist, Corey Peters, will start PyeongChang 2018 ranked 3rd and 8th in the world for Men’s Super-G Sitting and Downhill Sitting respectively. The New Plymouth native will contest both these events, along with two additional, the Men’s Super Combined and Giant Slalom Sitting. Following a spinal cord injury in a motocross accident in 2009, Peters’ impairment will see him race in Sport Class LW12-1.
Wanaka based Carl Murphy, the only Para snowboarder to ever represent New Zealand at a Paralympic Winter Games, finished fourth on debut at Sochi 2014. Murphy comes into PyeongChang 2018 with a world ranking of 7th in Men’s Snowboard Cross and 9th and Men’s Banked Slalom. Murphy was born with a lower leg deficiency and wears a custom-built carbon fibre prosthetic; he races in sport class SB LL.
New Zealand has a long and proud history at the Paralympic Winter Games, making its debut 38 years ago at the Geilo 1980 Paralympic Winter Games. Four years later at Innsbruck 1984, New Zealand picked up its first Paralympic winter medals and has now medalled at every Games since, barring once in 2006. Today, Patrick Cooper remains New Zealand’s most decorated winter Paralympian, with 6 medals across 3 Games and Mathew Butson holds the title for the most medals at a single Games, 4 at Nagano 1998.
Watch the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games live on DUKE and TVNZ.co.nz from midnight on 9 March. In addition, tune into TV On Demand to watch “Slick as Ice”, a behind the scenes documentary by Attitude Pictures exploring the dedication and determination of our winter Paralympians.
To find out everything you need to know visit our PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games page here.
To watch PyeongChang 2018 live please visit TVNZ here.