Following Canadian Women to
Salt Lake City

March 10, 2002

Karolina Wisniewska wins bronze medal

Karolina Wisniewska of Calgary and Daniel Wesley of New Westminster, B.C., have both won bronze medals in alpine skiing at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games.

Wisniewska won her bronze in the standing downhill (LW3,4,6,8 class) in a time of one minute 32.19 seconds.

"Everyone knows I'm not a downhiller," said Wisniewska, a double silver-medallist at the 1998 Nagano Paralympics. "I told myself to be aggressive at the start and then be patient throughout the race."

Wisniewska battled to stay mentally focused before her race. While she was in the holding area waiting for her start, she learned that her best friend and teammate Lauren Woolstencroft of Victoria crashed on course, suffering a knee injury.

"It was really hard for me to focus," said Wisniewska. "We were waiting so long in the holding area that I thought the injury had to have been severe."

Dr. Gaetan Tardif, Chief Medical Officer for the Canadian team, said Woolstencroft hadn't broken any bones, but would undergo an MRI.

Wesley, who won Canada's only gold medal in Nagano, scooped up bronze in the men's standing downhill (LW12 class) in one minute 23.20 seconds.

"It was tough to pick up speed out there, but it was nice to be able to put it together today in front of my family," said Wesley.

Stacy Kohut of Canmore, Alta, finished fifth in 1:23.67, while Scott Patterson of Vancouver, finished 15th in 1:42.99.

In men's sledge hockey competition, Canada fell to 1-1 after a surprising 5-1 loss to the United States.

Sylvester Flis had a hat trick to lead the American squad, which peppered the Canadian goaltenders with 17 shots.

Starter Pierre Pichette was pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots in the first period. Paul Rosen finished the game, stopping eight of 10 shots.

Todd Nicholson had the lone goal for Canada. Dany Verner picked up an assist on the goal.

"What can I say?" Canadian coach Tom Goodings asked. "We were totally unprepared and overconfident. They outplayed us in every facet of the game."

The pressure will be on Team Canada when they face Estonia on Monday.

In other sledge hockey games, Norway hammered Sweden 8-3 and Estonia trimmed Japan 2-1.

Also on Saturday:

Ian Balfour of Pincher Creek, Alta., finished fourth in the LW6/8 class, in 1:25.60.

Mark Ludbrook of Whistler, B.C., finished ninth in the LW4 class, in 1:28.01.

Gord Tuck of Lake Cowichan, B.C., finished 10th in the LW2 class event, in one minute 30.58 seconds.

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