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Paralympic sports - 18. March 2010.

Woolstencroft successfully defends giant slalom medal won in 2006

Canadian para-alpine team already beyond medal total of 2006 Paralympics


WHISTLER, BC (March 17, 2010) – Lauren Woolstencroft (North Vancouver, BC) added more gold to an already impressive medal collection today at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Whistler, BC.


Woolstencroft, who won gold earlier this week in the slalom, finished atop the podium the ladies standing category in today’s giant slalom race with a two-run combined time of two minutes 34.03 seconds.


It’s already the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Teams sixth medal of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, eclipsing the teams total of five from the 2006 Paralympics with downhill, super-G and super combined races still to come. Para-Alpine skiers have accounted for six of Canada’s eight Paralympic medals thus far.


With the victory, Woolstencroft successfully defends her title as Paralympic champion from Turin, ITA in 2006 in the GS. It’s the seventh Paralympic medal of Woolstencroft’s career and fifth gold.


“Giant slalom is one of my favourite events so I’m really happy with what happened today and repeating what I did in Torino. I’m obviously happy that I was able to win two races in a row and I definitely hope to keep on going,” said the 28-year-old Woolstencroft. “I haven’t had a good World Cup season. I lost a lot of races so that just motivated me coming here.”


“I’m taking everyday as it comes, I’m really happy with how I am skiing now. I think I have the potential to medal in every event, so I just want to look forward and concentrate on every event. Like I have said before, I just want to ski my best and I feel that my best can put me on the podium,” added Woolstencroft, who was born missing her left arm below the elbow as well as both legs below the knees.


“Times have changed. Now that there are a lot more resources and time involved that goes into our sport, there is more pressure on the athletes. Winning (at the Paralympics) means more, just by the fact that we do train a lot more, we have a more serious program then 10 years ago,” said Woolstencroft, “To perform with that pressure is great. Winning gold never gets old for me.”


Also in the ladies standing category, Karolina Wisniewska (Vancouver, BC) finished in fourth place while Arly Fogarty (Montreal, QC) finished 11th and Melanie Schwartz (Toronto, ON) placed 12th. The silver medal went to Andrea Rothfuss of Germany, incredibly just 0.03s ahead of bronze medalist Petra Smarzova of Slovakia.


In the men’s standing category, it was Germany’s Gerd Schonfelder winning gold in a two-run combined time of 2:23.93. Robert Meusberger earned the silver with France’s Vincent Gauthier-Manuel in the bronze medal position. The top Canadian was Jeff Dickson (Sudbury, ON) who finished in 18th place. Morgan Perrin (Whistler, BC) and Kirk Schorenstein (Edmonton, AB) finished in 21st and 25th place respectively.


“This was definitely one of the hardest giant slalom races I have ever done. It was very bumpy all the way through,” said Perrin. “The volunteers had to work very hard in between runs.”


Tomorrow’s event will be the downhill race as all the six categories will be competing.

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