At close of Beijing 2022, New Zealand Paralympic Team punches above their weight
The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games concluded last night with a stunning finale to an event which has captivated audiences through nine days and 78 medal events.
The New Zealand contingent attended the Closing Ceremony ecstatic, having won a fantastic four medals. Corey Peters was flag bearer for New Zealand, with Adam Hall, Aaron Ewen, coach Scott Palmer and physio Graeme White also representing New Zealand. Paralympics New Zealand CE Fiona Allan and board member Catriona McBean cheered them in the audience.
During the Paralympics, Para alpine skiers Corey Peters and Adam Hall won two medals each, a gold and a silver for Corey and two bronze medals for Adam, putting New Zealand 15th out of 46 nations in the medal tally. New Paralympian Aaron Ewen also brings home plenty of smiles, having reached the top ten twice.
Ewen, who became Paralympian #228 in Beijing, finishes his campaign on a high, a feeling he’ll enjoy through the rest of the Kiwi summer before returning to the ski fields.
“It feels good to achieve the goal that you’ve been trying to achieve for a while. It’s been a long time coming. (When I get home) I’m going straight to the beach on holiday! After that, maybe, I’m keen to go back down to Wānaka and ski.”
Chef de Mission Jane Stevens shares how Aaron has put his all into these intense, in some cases back-to-back days of racing.
“This has been a massive learning curve for Aaron. The experience he has gained in his first Paralympics will no doubt work as a catalyst for him to achieve great things in the future. He has experienced the ups and downs of performance at the highest level, and this gives him the understanding of what he needs to work on going forward.”
Adam Hall is also delighted with his campaign finish and hopes it will inspire others:
“There’s so many facilities and resources out there… Just go to Google, go to whatever it is and search for it. And get out there, get involved. There’s all sorts of different pathways and opportunities to get into any sport you want to.”
Now though, it’s time for home.
“We definitely celebrate together as a team, which is awesome, but we’ve all sacrificed so much. We have amazing family and friends and support network back home. Looking forward to getting home, to see them, to be able to celebrate together and decompress a little bit and take the time to just really enjoy it.”
A team size of three is smaller than many nations, but New Zealand’s Paralympians punch above their weight.
New Zealand’s three Paralympians won four medals (a ratio of 1.33 medals/Paralympian). China tops the medal table with 61 medals. However, their team is also much larger – 96 Para athletes (a ratio of 0.64 medals/Paralympian).
In fact, New Zealand won more medals per Paralympian than any nation bar Ukraine (whose 20 Paralympians won 29 medals). Not only that, but New Zealand also ranks joint third for gold medals per Paralympian, alongside Finland.
Paralympics New Zealand CE Fiona Allan explains:
“There are large nations who can send huge contingents to the Paralympics. We’re a small nation, so we have to think differently. We work extremely hard, and smart, I think, to prepare our Paralympians for competition. And that is why New Zealand has always done well at the Paralympic Winter Games. As in so many things, we punch above our weight!”
New Zealanders can feel justifiably proud of the efforts of their three incredible Paralympians.
Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games by the numbers
- 3 Paralympians, competing in Para alpine skiing.
- 1 debutante, Paralympian #228 Aaron Ewen.
- 4 medals, including 1 gold.
- 2 medallists, Corey Peters and Adam Hall.
- 7 support staff.
- New Zealand competed in 5 events.
- 15th overall out of 46 nations for medals won.
- 4th out of 46 nations for medals per capita.
- 2nd out of 46 nations for medals per athlete.
- Most successful Paralympic Winter Games for New Zealand in twenty years.
Medals won by New Zealanders at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games
|Gold||Para alpine skiing||Corey Peters||Men’s Downhill Sitting|
|Silver||Para alpine skiing||Corey Peters||Men’s Super-G Sitting|
|Bronze||Para alpine skiing||Adam Hall||Men’s Super Combined Standing|
|Bronze||Para alpine skiing||Adam Hall||Men’s Slalom Standing|