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Veterans, new-pair shine at Para Alpine World Cup

Kurt Oatway from Calgary and the new duo of Kalle Ericsson along with his guide, Sierra Smith, earned second place at the Para Alpine World Cup that concluded last month. Another Canadian, Alexis Guimond, secured the third spot and third overall finish at the alpine skiing world cup that concluded last month.

Newcomers to the Canadian National Team, Kalle Ericsson from Kimberley, BC, and Sierra Smith from Ottawa, delivered an incredible performance. They ranked third overall in the men’s giant slalom, taking home two silver and two bronze medals. Their success continued in the slalom, where they won two golds and a silver, finishing sixth overall. Their arrival is a boost for the Canadian National Para Alpine Team, especially following the retirement of Mac Marcoux, Canada’s most decorated visually impaired alpine skier, who earned six Paralympic medals over three Winter Games.

Despite challenging weather conditions heavily impacting the schedule, Kurt Oatway managed to earn two silver medals in the three races. Oatway has competed in the Paralympics twice and is currently ranked second in the downhill standings for the World Cup. Reflecting on his performance, Oatway shared on Alpine Canada’s Instagram, “Now that I’m 40, being on the overall downhill podium proves I’ve still got it. I plan to compete for a bit longer.” He also claimed two bronze medals in the super G races, finishing fifth in the season standings for the event.

Alexis Guimond opened the season with seven straight podium finishes with a gold, two silver, and four bronze in downhill, super G, and giant slalom men’s standing events. He finished third overall in the Super G in which he posted his victory at the second stop in Steinach, Austria. He was also fifth in the downhill and sixth in the GS. ‘’Knowing I can race at that level and be among the best in the world makes me very happy,’’ Guimond told Radio-Canada. ‘’I have to put myself in a state of mind to leave it all on the course and push myself to the limits.’’

Canada’s Para-Alpine team has shown great potential this season. After some key retirements following Beijing 2022, the team is now gearing up for the next Winter Games that will take place in Milan-Cortina in 2026.  The team is determined to make a giant push ahead of the upcoming games and their performance so far indicates that they are ready for the challenge.

Source: Canadian Paralympic Committee