ARTE THERME, ITA – March 13, 2007 – Para-Alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft captured the gold medal in today’s Giant Slalom event – her second gold medal in as many days –, as well as clinching the overall title Tuesday.
In total, Canada won three medals at the Giant slalom event of Para-Alpine World Cup in Arte Therme, Italy, adding the medal tally to six in two days.
This season alone, Woolstencroft, the defending World Cup overall title champion, won ten medals – nine Gold and one Silver – in only 11 World Cup starts.
The 25 year old electrical engineer, who clinched the Slalom title yesterday, completed the two-run race in two minutes 20.53 on the Zoncolan I course in the Swiss Alps.
“It’s great to be able to repeat such a hard task. Winning this year’s title reassures me that last year’s title wasn’t luck and that I can do it again,” said Woolstencroft, Paralympic Gold medallist in Super G.
Last season, Woolstencroft was crowned with the overall title, as well as the Giant Slalom and the Super G titles.
“It’s been a great year. I am surprise to see how well in went considering I balanced both work and skiing and still compete for the highest honours,” continued Woolstencroft, 25, triple amputee on the Canadian team since 1998.
In the Men’s events, Visually impaired skier Chris Williamson (Toronto, ON) won the silver medal – his second straight silver medal in Arte Therme. Guided by German Karl Heinz Vachenauer – his fourth guide of the season – Williamson completed both runs with a cumulated time of two minutes 13.81 seconds.
“I am very satisfied considering all the trouble I have had this season. I am racing with my fifth guide this season. It’s hard racing with a new guide every race. I take what I can get. It creates a lot of consistency issues, but I adapt,” said Williamson, 35, after the race.
Chris Williamson, currently the leader in the ASD Point’s standings, needs a silver medal or a gold in tomorrow’s race to clinch the overall title.
Last season, Williamson – a banker when not on the slopes – clinched the overall title, as well as title in all the official disciplines of Para-Alpine skiing: Giant slalom, Slalom and Super G.
“I know I have a chance of grabbing the overall title if I ski well tomorrow. I got to keep up my pace in the super G. I have an 80 point lead for the overall title and a 35 point lead for the Super G. It’s going to be tight and exciting race tomorrow,” added the blind skier, who won two medals at the last Paralympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.
Kathleen Forestall (Ottawa, ON), guided by Emily Glossop (Ottawa, ON), have won the bronze medal in the Ladies visually impaired category.
“The conditions were good, but with the 20 degree temperatures, every skiers need to stay on track as the snow was very soft. It cost Kimberly a medal today as she was in great position after the first run,” said Jean Sébastien Labrie, World Cup coach with the Canadian Para-Apine Ski Team.
“We are extremely happy with the program as a whole, but especially with the slalom results yesterday. Lauren is really motivated and determined to continue skiing after her season’s results,” continued Labrie.
Other Canadians Ladies entered in the race were Kimberly Joines (Edmonton, AB) fifth in the Ladies Sitting category, Arly Fogarty (Montreal, QC) and Andrea Dziewior who finish 7th and 13th respectively in the Ladies Standing category.
On the men’s side, Matthew Hallat (Coquitlam, BC) and Morgan Perrin (Vancouver, BC) finished 18th and 19th of the Standing category.
Yesterday, both Woolstencroft and Williamson have won ASD Crystal Globes in the slalom event.
As of today, the Canadian Para-Alpine Team sits in second place of the Nation’s Cup standing with 2886 points, just 5 points ahead of third-place Germany. The team has won two Crystal Globes this season, as well as an overall title.
The Arte Therme World Cup Finals ends tomorrow with the presentation of the Super G event. Following the last World Cup event of the season, the CPAST will come back on Canadian soil to compete at the 2007 Para-Alpine Canadian Championships in Kimberley, BC, from the 18th to the 22nd of March.
Alpine Canada Alpin apologies for not mentioning the Crystal Globe awarded to Blind skier Chris Williamson, captured yesterday in Slalom. Williamson accomplishments were done with four guides – a new guide for each world cup stop – after the injury sustained to his guide AJ Brown.
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A Gutsy performance from both sides