Posted on Tuesday 22nd February, 2022

With ten days to go to the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, the mood in the New Zealand Paralympic Team is one of excitement. “We have enjoyed watching the thrills of the Olympic Games and we are ready to get into it,” explains Paralympian #158 Adam Hall.

Three Para alpine skiers will represent New Zealand at the Paralympic Winter Games, with Corey Peters and Aaron Ewen competing in the sitting category, and Adam Hall competing in the standing category.

Hall and Peters are no strangers to the Paralympics, having achieved multiple medals for New Zealand in past Paralympic Winter Games.

Hall, competing in his fifth Winter Paralympics, will be looking to add to his two gold medals and a bronze. Having finished the recent World Championships with a silver medal, Hall will certainly be targeting the podium in the Slalom in Beijing, and will be one to watch in other Para alpine ski events also.

Peters proved both his speed and his precision on the snow with a silver medal in the Giant Slalom in Sochi 2014 and a bronze in the Downhill in PyeongChang 2018. After three years of no international competitions, Peters blasted back onto the slopes in January with a remarkable fourth place finish in the Giant Slalom at the World Para Snow Sports Championships, following it with a 3rd place finish at the Super G World Cup soon after.

Beijing 2022 will be Aaron Ewen’s Paralympic debut, after an injury forced him to withdraw just before the PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games in 2018. Chef de Mission Jane Stevens describes Ewen as “bringing a whole lot of X-factor and a love of speed”. Many will be looking forward to watching this talented young Para athlete from Tuakau.

Five Para alpine ski events are contested at the Winter Paralympics, and the three Para athletes within the New Zealand Paralympic team are likely to compete across both speed and technical disciplines.

Team bios and the competition schedule is available here.

Chef de Mission Jane Stevens is proud of what the team have put in to get this far.

“Corey, Aaron and Adam have proven their courage, skill and determination to be selected to the New Zealand Paralympic Team for Beijing. Being selected for the Paralympic Winter Games is an enormous achievement in itself; to get to the Winter Paralympics during the pandemic has been even more challenging. I am thrilled that these three talented Para athletes will be representing our nation in a just over a week in Beijing.”

Jane Stevens, Chef de Mission

Stevens says the team are in great mental and physical shape and looking forward to the experience of Beijing 2022.

“The New Zealand Paralympic Team has an impressive history at the Paralympic Winter Games. New Zealand Paralympians have punched above their weight, bringing home 31 medals since their first appearance in 1980. The current team have their eyes on medals and want to make New Zealand proud.”

Stevens and a number of support team members are travelling to Beijing this week. The support staff behind the three Para athletes include:

  • Jane Stevens, Chef de Mission
  • Lynette Grace, Deputy Chef de Mission
  • Ben Adams, Head Coach
  • Scott Palmer, Assistant Coach
  • Dr Bruce Hamilton, Medical Lead
  • Graeme White, Performance Physiotherapist
  • Curtis Christian, Wax & Equipment Technician

“We’re working really hard to ensure that Adam, Corey and Aaron have everything they need to perform to their peak,” said Stevens. “Our role is providing an atmosphere which lets them do what they do best, and to that end, we have a fantastic support team who work closely together.”

The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games have rigorous Covid-19 protocols in place, with daily testing, physical distancing, temperature checks, and a closed loop bubble system in place. And as Stevens points out, the New Zealand Paralympic Team protocols are even more stringent, with the aim of ensuring the safety of all New Zealand Paralympic Team members.

“We have created a performance-focused environment that builds on our team values, encourages compliance with protocols, and is supportive and respectful. Team members understand their roles and responsibility in protecting themselves and others from COVID-19,” said Stevens.

New Zealand Paralympic Team athletes will arrive in Beijing this Saturday February 26th. Competition gets underway on Saturday March 5th with the Downhill event. This will be screened live on TVNZ DUKE at 3pm NZT.

While the Kiwi Para athletes all compete in the sport of Para alpine skiing, Paralympics New Zealand Chief Executive Fiona Allan is thrilled that New Zealanders can, for the first time, watch all six winter Para sports on TVNZ.

“We hope that many Kiwis will enjoy watching Adam, Corey and Aaron compete in the Para alpine skiing. I am delighted that New Zealanders will have the opportunity to watch the variety of winter Paralympic sports on TVNZ Duke.”

Fiona Allan, Paralympics New Zealand CE

And it’s not only fun to watch. Allan hopes New Zealanders will feel inspired to try the sports they see, or get involved in other ways.

“Whether someone has a disability or not, there is an opportunity for anyone to be involved with Para sport. If you are a disabled person interested to participate in Para sport, a coach interested in Para sport coaching, a volunteer, or a classifier interested in classifying, then we want to hear from you.”

Support Staff bios

JANE STEVENS, CHEF DE MISSION

Jane is a powerhouse of knowledge and experience in adaptive snow sports having specialised in the area for over 35 years. She plays a critical leadership role with the New Zealand High Performance Para athletes through event entry, coaching assistance and operational organisation. Jane has coached in New Zealand and around the world.

Previously Jane has been the Head Coach of the British Disabled Ski Team. She is now the Adaptive Course Manager for the NZSIA (New Zealand Ski Instructors Alliance) and holds qualifications in NZSIA, BASI and the Canadian System. Jane sits as the Australasia representative on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), as well as representing Asia and Oceania on the World Para Alpine Skiing Technical Committee of the IPC.

Jane has been with Snow Sports NZ for over ten years and has been an integral part of the Adaptive Program and the athletes Paralympic success over the past four Winter Paralympics. Previous PNZ roles include Head Coach for the New Zealand Paralympic Team for the 2006 Torino Paralympics and Assistant coach 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympics.

LYNETTE GRACE, DEPUTY CHEF DE MISSION

As Games and Sports Manager with Paralympics New Zealand since 2014, Lynette has a wealth of experience and knowledge in creating high performance environments that support athlete success. Lynette was Deputy Chef de Mission for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and has attended two prior Paralympic Games in 2016 and 2018 within management roles. She is excited to continue her leadership role within the New Zealand Paralympic Team. 

BEN ADAMS, HEAD COACH

Ben Adams is the Head Paralympic Coach for the Para Alpine Ski High Performance Programme and has long taken care of members of the New Zealand Paralympic Team. He has worked hard to strengthen the athletes’ technique and consistency, resulting in many podium finishes at top events. Ben has coached skiing in New Zealand, USA, Canada, France, Switzerland, Austria and Japan. Ben transfers this depth of adaptive experience working as an examiner and trainer for the NZSIA. Ben was named as a member of the IPC Alpine Skiing Coaches Advisory Group for the 2016-17 season.

SCOTT PALMER, ASSISTANT COACH

Scott has been coaching skiing since 2009, having first trained through ITC in the Otago Polytechnic programme in 2008. Since then, Scott has worked at Cardrona and heads to Park City, USA for the Northern winters. Over the years Scott has broadened his knowledge by achieving his children’s, freestyle, snowboarding and adaptive certifications. He now works as an Instructor and Trainer at Cardrona and looks after the adaptive programme. Scott is also an active Examiner with the NZSIA.

DR BRUCE HAMILTON, MEDICAL LEAD

Bruce is the Director of Performance Health for High Performance Sport NZ and the NZ Olympic Committee. In this role he is accountable for the provision of health care services to NZ’s elite Olympic and Carded HPSNZ Athletes. In addition to undergraduate degrees in Physical Education and Medicine, Bruce has postgraduate qualifications in Tropical Medicine, Sports Law and is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Sports Medicine. In 2017 he was awarded a Medical Doctorate from Otago University for his research investigating hamstring muscle injuries.

Bruce has attended four World Track and Field Championships, two World Triathlon Championships, four Commonwealth and four Olympic Games in a medical capacity.

GRAEME WHITE, PERFORMANCE PHYSIOTHERAPIST

Graeme is a Manipulative and Sports Physiotherapist. He has been working with Paralympics New Zealand since 2016, traveling to the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 summer games.

He was working primarily with swimming leading into Tokyo and is now excited to be attending his first winter Paralympics.

When not traveling with sports teams he enjoys living seaside in Mangawhai, 90 minutes north of Auckland.

CURTIS CHRISTIAN, WAX & EQUIPMENT TECHNICIAN

A native of Whistler, BC, Canada, Curtis began his ski career as a World Cup racer, followed by 35 years as an Olympic/Paralympic technician and ski coach.

Curtis is a veteran of the ski industry, having attended multiple Winter Olympic games. His first Olympics took him to Albertville, France in 1992 with the British Alpine Ski team. He later joined the Canadian Para-Alpine team and attended the 2006 Paralympics in Torino, Italy. The next two Games, held in Vancouver/Whistler, Canada (2010) and PyeongChang, S. Korea (2018) had him working with the Australian Para-Alpine team.

Over the years, he has returned home with a pocketful of medals for his athletes. His is very excited to be working with Snow Sports New Zealand and heading to the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing, China, with a goal of bringing home gold in the Para alpine ski disciplines.