Daily Wrap: Adam Hall wins BRONZE and Aaron Ewen finishes 9th in final Beijing 2022 event
Highlights from Beijing today – Day 9
- In the Men’s Slalom we saw two New Zealand Paralympians, Adam Hall and Aaron Ewen, complete the final event for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games
- Paralympian #158 Adam Hall attacked his final race with amazing technique, taking out his second BRONZE medal for New Zealand.
- New Zealand’s newest Paralympian #228 Aaron Ewen finished 9th, a fantastic achievement in his first Paralympics.
Adam Hall: Para alpine skiing – Men’s Slalom Standing
“You have to admire this man” was what the commentators said watching Adam Hall’s Slalom run, “Look at the amazing technique.”
While Hall made it look effortless, he shared after the race that the conditions made it a less than perfect experience:
“Today was more challenging conditions. After the first run, it was not quite how I was wanting to feel. Second run I just wanted to go out there and do what I could. The snow conditions have changed quite a lot over the last couple of days. It was a matter of getting down the best that I could and fight all the way to the finish.”
Fighting all the way to the finish earned Hall a bronze medal, with a time of 1:33.21. Jingyi Liang of China put in a huge effort in run 2 to overtake Hall, finishing second, at just under a second faster than Hall.
On Hall’s first run he led the field until Arthur Bauchet’s run, which was over 2 seconds faster. No other skier could match the pair however, and Hall went into run two ranked second. Bauchet, who is from France, capitalised on his lead in the second run, achieving a time of 1:29.61. Bauchet also won the Super Combined event in which Hall won bronze on Monday.
Hall competed in the earliest races of the Beijing 2022 Paralympics and then had a wait from Monday to Sunday for today’s event, after bad weather caused reschedules. When asked if the waiting game was a hard one, Hall responded:
Diagnosed at birth with spina bifida – a disability that typically leaves people in a wheelchair – Adam says he’s “lucky” because he is mobile and able to walk. In 2011, he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZOM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to sport.
Following on from his gold medal in the men’s standing Slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Games Adam added a bronze medal in Super Combined at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang before winning his second gold medal in Slalom.
Adam was bestowed with an incredible honour when he was announced as winner of the Whang Yuon Dai Achievement Award. This is presented to only one male and one female Paralympian at each Paralympic Games who best exemplify the spirit of the Paralympic Games and the Paralympic values.
When he’s not on snow Adam also enjoys biking, kayaking, golf and anything outdoors.
Aaron Ewen: Para alpine skiing – Men’s Slalom Sitting
Today Aaron Ewen demonstrated everything he has learned from his races here at Beijing 2022. After two DNFs, he was keen for redemption, and he found it today with a great final run for his Beijing campaign.
Ewen proved what he is capable of when he displayed solid handling of a very challenging course, bumpy and with softening snow. Only 16 sit skiers finished the two Slalom runs, while 23 didn’t – Aaron did a huge job just reaching the finish line.
Describing his top ten result, Aaron said:
“It’s bittersweet. My first run was pretty shocking. Good to know my speed is there. It’s a two-run combo deal. You’ve got to do good in both. I’m happy with the second run for sure. It was a lot better than the first. I finally just went for it instead of like trying to finish. Cause I didn’t finish the last two races. Stoked to be able to finish the race and finish on a good note too.”
Ewen’s conclusion is borne out by the numbers: he ranked 16th after run 1, and for run 2, his time was 8th fastest. His overall finish time of 1:50.16 is certainly one to be proud of, however.
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.”