Last month saw the inaugural World Cup Para Bobsleigh and Skeleton races held at Igls (Innsbruck, Austria) on January 23rd with the second round held in St Moritz on the 31st of January. Team GB have shown a strong presence with Corie Mapp (see photo) winning Gold medal in the Monobob at Igls and Matthew Richardson getting Silver medal in the Skeleton at Igls and St Moritz. There has been other interesting news in the world of Para sliding sports with Jon-Allan Butterworth and Heather Mills both competing in Channel 4’s Celebrity Winter Sports program The Jump. Jon-Allan, using prosthetic attachments adapted to fit the skeleton, clocked the fastest time out of all the male celebrities.
Jade Etherington and her guide Caroline Powell have won another Silver medal in Sochi, this time in the Slalom event. This raises Jade’s tally up to 3 medals (2 silver, 1 bronze) with the giant slalom and super-G still to come.
In the same event Millie Knight and her guide Rachael Ferrier came in a fine fifth place, while gold medal winner Kelly Gallagher suffered a fall in her last run.
Team GB’s wheelchair curling team have suffered another of loss, this time to Russia. They currently stand at having won 2 games and lost 2 games in the round robin event.
Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans have won the women’s Super-G (visually impaired) to become GB’s first ever Gold Medal winners at a Paralympic Winter Games. This was coupled with a Bronze medal for Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell in the same event, which will sit well alongside Jade and Caroline’s Silver medal from the visually impaired women’s downhill race on Saturday.
Team GB’s Anna Turney was unfortunate to come fourth in the Super-G (sitting) having suffered quite a large fall in the downhill event on Saturday. Mick Brennan put in a solid performance to finish 10th in the men’s Super-G (sitting) on Sunday.
Ice Sledge Hockey was developed in Sweden in the 1960’s by two ice hockey fans who did not want their disability to stop them from playing their favourite sport. It first featured at the Lillehammer 1994 Paralympic Winter Games and has quickly become one of the most popular attractions for spectators at the Winter Games. It was not until 2009 that it was determined that female athletes would be allowed to compete. The rules are largely similar to those of conventional ice hockey rules with the major difference being those relating to the sledge.
The sledge consists of a bucket seat mounted on metal frame which runs on two skate blades under the seat and a skid at the front of the frame.
There is a great article on Paralympics.org about the scale of the workshop program Ottobock have setup in Sochi 2014 to help maintain and repair athletes equipment during the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi which are due to begin next week.
Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony
In Stoke Mandeville tomorrow (1st March) there will be a ceremony to light the first ever Paralympic Heritage Flame, to celebrate the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games . The event will be broadcast live on Channel 4 at 18:30. Stoke Mandeville is of course famous as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement. It was in 1948 that Sir Ludwig Guttmann, a German spinal injuries doctor, created the Stoke Mandeville Games, an event that was the forerunner for the Paralympic Games that were first held in Rome, Italy, in 1960.
The sit-ski is a device for athletes with more severe lower limb impairments (spinal cord injuries or double amputations) designed to enable wheelchair users to take part in skiing as both a leisure and competitive activity. Sit-skiing is used to great effect by charities such as Back-Up to assist wheelchair users building their fitness and confidence levels and to encourage a greater level of independence.
A sit-ski consists of a moulded seat mounted on a metal frame with a suspension system beneath the seat to maximise ski-snow contact. Sit-skis can be mounted on a single ski (called a mono-ski) or on two skis (a dual-ski).
As the Winter Olympic Games came to a close yesterday it was a chance to reflect on what an event it has been. there have been highs, Jenny Jones bronze medal in the Snowboard Slopestyle, Lizzy Yernold’s gold in the skeleton bob. There have been lows, Elise Christie penalised out of the medals in the short track speed skating. There have been thrills, the GB men’s and women’s teams picking up silver and bronze in the curling. And there have been spills, Rowan Cheshire suffering concussion in a training crash, preventing her from competing.
GB Winter sports is set to receive a funding boost from UK Sport as a result of Team GB’s record equaling performance over the last two weeks, this coincides with a popularity boost in Winter sports fueled by the games.