Daily wrap: Corey Peters takes SILVER, second medal of Beijing 2022
Highlights from Beijing today – Day 2:
- In the Men’s Super-G we saw all three New Zealand Paralympians complete a challenging course with strong skiing across the board.
- Paralympian #188 Corey Peters took New Zealand’s second medal of the Paralympics with a SILVER to add to yesterday’s gold.
- New Zealand’s newest Paralympian #228 Aaron Ewen finished 9th in the same race, his first top ten finish and a great achievement in his first Paralympics.
- Paralympian #158 Adam Hall handled a course that was not ideal for him with technical finesse, earning the respect of commentators as he landed a 21st place finish.
Coming up tomorrow – Day 3:
Adam Hall and Aaron Ewen will compete in the Super Combined event.
This event has been rescheduled earlier by a day due to incoming warmer weather affecting snow conditions.
Consisting of a Super-G run followed by a Slalom run, Super Combined combines a speed event with a technical event to showcase overall skiing skills.
In the past two Paralympic Winter Games, Adam Hall has won 4th place and then bronze in this discipline, making him one to watch tomorrow.
Corey Peters: Para alpine skiing – Super-G Sitting
Corey Peters made the podium again today, adding a SILVER to yesterday’s gold medal.
Peters came second in the Men’s Super-G Sitting in a time of 1:10.16, less than half a second behind the winner Jesper Pedersen of Norway. Peters hit speeds of 99.9 km per hour.
Super-G is a favoured event of Corey’s. Today, his precision skiing worked in his favour on the challenging course, which has a very technical steep pitch as well as a final flat which requires some quick skiing, keeping the skis flat and running as fast as possible.
Describing himself as “ecstatic” the New Plymouth Para alpine skier explained how the conditions helped:
“It was warmer so the snow did change. It was softer and more peely at the top and at the bottom but in the middle steep section it was still quite firm. It’s like a knife through butter, you can do anything on it. It’s just really good conditions for ski racing. It’s the snow that I like to race on.”
The podium in today’s Super-G looked remarkably similar to yesterday’s Downhill, with the same three contenders taking medals: this time Pedersen in first place, Peters in second, and Japan’s Tiaki Morii adding another bronze to his medal collection.
Both Morii (41) and Peters (38) are veterans of multiple Paralympic Winter Games – this is Peters’ third and Morii’s fifth Paralympics – showing that experience really does count.
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.
Adam Hall: Para alpine skiing – Super-G Standing
Adam Hall completed the Super-G course in 1 minute 15.8 seconds, described by the commentators as “A fine job. Clean technical skiing. Almost to perfection through the curves.” The course wasn’t ideal for Hall with two flat sections, the second being very flat. Hall’s time was 6.69 seconds slower than the gold medal winner Jingyi Liang of China giving him a 21st place finish.
Describing the conditions as “springlike”, Hall is nonetheless upbeat about the team’s preparation:
“At the back of our minds we always have to think what can happen, worst case scenario with schedule changes… We keep on our toes so that we can be prepared for the unexpected.”
Diagnosed at birth with spina bifida – a disability that typically leaves people in a wheelchair – Hall 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 (MNZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to sport.
Hall was bestowed with an incredible honour when he was announced as winner of the Whang Yuon Dai Achievement Award at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. 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.
Aaron Ewen: Para alpine skiing – Super-G Sitting
Aaron Ewen, New Zealand’s newest Paralympian competed today in his second event of Beijing 2022, achieving a top ten finish.
The 25-year-old from Tuakau did himself proud, skiing well on the challenging course. After yesterday’s 11th place finish in the Downhill, Ewen said he wanted to be more confident in his next competition. We saw that in his race today, with a lot of bravery on show in the turns.
Not content to stop there however, Ewen has plenty more in store for the remaining three Para alpine ski races of Beijing 2022. He says:
“We’ve got more days, I’m learning… so bring it on for the rest.”
A Para athlete with an affinity for speed, Ewen always has the capacity to surprise, giving it his all every time he pushes out through the start gate.
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.” Although Ewen is relatively new to Para alpine ski racing, he is an athlete to keep your eye on.