Right here’s a breakdown of the occasions and the classifications featured in Para alpine snowboarding.
By Luke Hanlon // Purple Line Editorial
When the primary Winter Paralympics came about in 1976 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, alpine snowboarding was considered one of two sports activities on this system, together with cross nation snowboarding. Solely standing skiers competed and so they raced solely in slalom and large slalom at these Video games.
Over time, occasions have been added for sit skiers and visually impaired skiers, and this system was expanded to incorporate the 5 races acquainted to followers of alpine snowboarding on the Olympic or World Cup stage. As in Olympic snowboarding, the aim is to navigate a course by snowboarding round gates and crossing the end line within the quickest time.
Right here’s a breakdown of the occasions and classifications that make up Para alpine snowboarding competitions.
Essentially the most technical of all alpine occasions, the slalom is all about having the agility to make fast, tight turns. Slalom options the shortest programs, nevertheless it has probably the most gates to cross via. Skiers compete over two runs on two otherwise set programs over sooner or later to find out the winners.
It’s the slalom, however larger and quicker. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the course is longer than a slalom course, it options fewer gates to cross via. Skiers like Thomas Walsh, who received silver within the large slalom on the 2022 Video games, compete in two runs on two completely different programs. The occasions are mixed to find out the winner.
Thought of a pace occasion, super-G is quicker than large slalom whereas a bit of extra technical than the downhill. Laurie Stephens confirmed her elite combo of pace and technical potential when she received gold within the super-G on the 2006 Paralympics. There is only one run in super-G and athletes can solely examine, or “slip,” the course previous to the race.
The quickest of the alpine races, skiers can attain speeds over 60 miles per hour whereas competing within the downhill. Downhill programs are steep and lengthy and have huge turns, all of which permit skiers like 2018 Paralympic downhill gold medalist Andrew Kurka to essentially get transferring. Skiers full one run down the course, with one coaching run down the course previous to the race.
Meant to check athletes for each their pace and technical potential, this occasion is made up of two runs — one run of both downhill or super-G and one run of slalom. The 2 occasions are mixed to find out the winner.
Alpine skiers are separated into three teams: sitting, standing and visually impaired skiers. There are further classifications inside every group that skiers compete underneath.
These classifications are in place as a result of there are athletes with various severity of impairments competing in the identical race. Instances are adjusted accordingly based mostly on classifications to ensure every race is honest for all of the athletes.
Standing skiers have 9 completely different classifications, since there are athletes with both higher or decrease limb deficiencies. There may be even one classification for athletes which have impalements to higher and lowers limbs.
Sitting and visually impaired skiers every have three separate classifications. Sitting skiers solely have decrease limb deficiencies. Just like the identify suggests, sit skiers compete in sleds — additionally referred to as monoskis — in a seated place.
Visually impaired get categorized based mostly on their ranges of imaginative and prescient. These skiers every compete with a sighted information that verbally communicates to navigate them down a course.
Luke Hanlon is a sportswriter and editor based mostly in Minneapolis. He’s a contract contributor to usskiandsnowboard.org courtesy of Purple Line Editorial, Inc.