more medals for Canada's alpine skiers
March 14, 2006
Canadians Kimberly Joines and Chris Williamson each won a bronze
medal in alpine skiing Tuesday at the Torino Paralympic Winter Games,
bringing Canada's medal count in the sport to four. Canada has won
six medals overall.
Williamson, from Markham, Ont., finished third in
the men's visually impaired super-G on Tuesday, posting a time of
one minute, 14.53 seconds. Gianmaria Dal Maistro of Italy won the
event in 1:14.160 while Radomir Dudas of Slovakia was second in
It was the second medal of the Torino Games for Williamson,
who won silver in the visually impaired downhill on Sunday.
Williamson and guide Bobby Taylor of Vancouver originally
finished fourth on Tuesday but Germany's Gerd Gradwohl, who was
in the bronze medal position, was disqualified for becoming separated
by more than one directional change from his guide.
Williamson, who said he was disqualified for the same
offence at the 2004 world championships, criticized the rule.
"It doesn't make sense," he told the Canadian
Press. "If you can't see your guide, I don't see how that is
a benefit. I think the basic theory of the rule is incorrect."
However, Williamson said officials were correct in
enforcing the rule.
"If Bob and I didn't have to worry about the
distance (between them) our result might have been different,"
said Williamson, who is completely blind in his right eye and has
about six per cent vision in his left due to a degenerative eye
The role of the guide is an important one. The guide
skis ahead of his visually impaired partner, relaying advice on
how to handle the terrain via two-way radios installed in the helmets
of both skiers. The visually impaired skier notifies the guide each
time he passes a gate so the guide can gauge how much space is between
Joines matched the result of Canadian teammate Williamson
by winning the bronze medal in Tuesday's women's sitting super-G.
Laurie Stephens of the United States cruised to the
gold in a time of 1:19.16 – 3.06 seconds faster than silver-medal
winner Kuniko Obinata of Japan and 3.48 seconds ahead of Joines,
who is from Edmonton.
"I can't complain," Joines, who is competing
in her first Paralympics and did not finish Sunday's downhill race,
told the Canadian Press. "I would have been disappointed if
I wasn't on the podium. "You have to be satisfied with that."
It was the second women's super-G medal in as many
days for Canada. Lauren Woolstencroft of Victoria picked up a silver
in the standing event on Monday.
Canada's alpine skiers have accounted for four of
the country's six medals in Turin. Nordic skier Brian McKeever of
Canmore, Alta., is the only non-alpine athlete to win medals for
On Tuesday McKeever captured bronze in the men's visually
impaired 7.5 km biathlon. It was his second podium finish of the
Games, coming after he won gold in Sunday's 5 km cross-country event.
In other alpine events on Tuesday, Sabine Gasteiger
of Austria won the women's visually impaired super-G, with Anna
Kuliskova of the Czech Republic taking silver and Silvia Parente
of Italy bronze. No Canadians were entered.
Germany's Martin Braxenthaler won gold in the men's
sitting super-G, while Austrians Harald Eder and Robert Froehle
captured silver and bronze, respectively. Jeffery Penner of Kitchener,
Ont., and Brad Lennea of Mission, B.C., finished 24th and 25, respectively,
while Vancouver's Scott Patterson did not finish.