Conditions prove challenging for Kiwis in Giant Slalom
Highlights from Beijing today – Day 6
- Today we saw a solid tactical performance from Aaron Ewen in run one of the Giant Slalom. Unfortunately the challenging conditions led to a DNF for Ewen in the second run.
- Corey Peters was unlucky in the Giant Slalom today; his tail washed out on gate three of the first run.
Coming up tomorrow – Day 7
- Tomorrow you can watch international Para athletes compete in Para alpine skiing (Women’s Giant Slalom), Para biathlon, and Para snowboard. In the Para ice hockey we enter the semifinals and see Canada take on South Korea. The Wheelchair curling enters the playoffs, where Sweden, China and Canada have so far been confirmed.
- There are no New Zealand Paralympians competing in the events held tomorrow.
Next Para alpine skiing – Sunday 13th March, Day 9
- On the final day of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, standing Para alpine skier Adam Hall, and sit skier Aaron Ewen will compete in the Slalom event.
- Slalom is synonymous with technical ability. Slalom requires aggressiveness, agility, quickness and combines relatively high speed and technical difficulty. The many gates that provide a lot of direction changes should be set to provide an interesting combination of single and multiple gates, which provide a good test of a wide variety of skiing skills. Slalom events are held in two runs on separate courses. The skier with the best combined time from two separate runs is declared the winner.
- Adam Hall has won two gold medals in this discipline in previous Paralympic Winter Games. In the Slalom run of the Super Combined on Monday, Hall was just 0.06 seconds off the fastest time set by Arthur Bauchet of France.
Corey Peters: Para alpine skiing – Men’s Giant Slalom Sitting
Unfortunately, Peters race ended early with a DNF today.
In run one, at the third gate, his got rotated and his tail washed out. Peters explained that the course wasn’t his favoured style, as he prefers the speed events.
Peters is pragmatic about his luck today.
“When you’re racing it’s hard to soak it all in. Now I can enjoy watching Adam and Aaron finish off the remaining event. Hopefully we come away with a fourth medal with Adam’s favourite event being the Slalom.”
Peters took up sit skiing in 2011. The former Taranaki age group and development squad rugby representative’s life was turned upside down in September 2009 when he sustained a crushed spinal cord at a motocross event.
Corey now spends his Northern Hemisphere seasons training in Winter Park in the USA and travelling throughout Europe and North America to compete. Back in New Zealand, he splits his time between his home base in New Plymouth and training at Cardrona Alpine Resort and at the High Performance Sport New Zealand/Snow Sports NZ Training Centre in Wānaka.
Aaron Ewen: Para alpine skiing – Men’s Giant Slalom Sitting
Going into run one, Ewen chose a good tactical approach, maintaining a smooth rhythm on the steep, bumpy course. Ewen completed run one in a time of 1:09.04, 11.13 seconds behind the leader, Jesper Pederson of Norway, having dodged the worst of the ruts and bumps.
However, disappointed to rank 23rd after the first run, he took a bolder approach on run two.
“I was a bit devo after the first run, so I went in a bit more angry, wanted to push it.”
Ewen’s courage didn’t pay off this time and he was unable to finish the icy, challenging course.
He is nonetheless looking forward to his final race of Beijing 2022 on Sunday, the Slalom. The race has been rescheduled to Sunday, giving him an extra day to rest and regroup for the event.
In February 2013, Ewen competed in a downhill mountain biking competition when he crashed, sustaining a spinal cord injury that left him without movement in his legs. His new passion was born after his friends took him up to Mt Ruapehu for a ski lesson. Ewen appreciates the independence skilling allows him, saying, “I was thrilled to find skiing gives me the same kind of feeling as riding my bike over rough stuff.”