Thursday, March 18, 2010

mid-paralympic update

We're more than halfway through the Games, but I'm exactly halfway through my race schedule, so it's a good time for an update.

I was the top American in both the slalom, held last Sunday, and Tuesday's GS, finishing 9th and 14th respectively. This was a nice surprise for me; I hadn't expected to do so well in the technical events. The GS was particularly tough, since we ran the race in a steady rain and deteriorating snow conditions that probably would have forced the cancellation of the race if it weren't for the incredible army of volunteer course workers and slippers on hand here in Whistler.

I got to spend some time with all my assembled family and friends on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday Mary and I drove down to Vancouver to visit the University of British Columbia. I was accepted to the UBC's graduate School of Library, Archival and Information Studies last week, and I wanted to check out the campus and meet people there. I came away with a very favorable impression of the program and the campus, and it's quite possible that Mary and I will end up there later this year.

After my interview and tour at SLAIS, we met up with Mashi Shinoda, a monoskiing friend from Winter Park who is an undergrad at UBC. The three of us had dinner at an authentic-seeming Chinese restaurant (they even had shark fin soup!) and caught a Paralympic sled hockey game. Korea beat Sweden 2–1.

Today was the downhill, rescheduled from last Saturday when it was cancelled due to fog. The conditions today were pretty much ideal: clear and sunny, and cold enough last night that the track froze and set up nicely. That meant that the women had a pretty bumpy and fast ride, while the course had softened up a little (and gotten even bumpier) by the time the men went.

We Americans had a stellar day in three classes. In the women's visually impaired class, my Winter Park teammate Danelle Umstead and her husband Rob took the bronze, their first Paralympic medal. In the men's VI class, Mark Bathum won his first medal too, a silver. His guide is Slater Storey, brother of fellow Paralympian Elitsa Storey. And in the women's sitting class, we went 1-2 again, with Alana Nichols winning her second gold of these games and Laurie Stephens in silver. Bravo USA!

1 comment:

Berg said...

Congrats on your two great events so far! So glad we saw them (and you & Mary & Will) live and we'll be cheering you on for the last two on - go fast!