Source: Alpine Canada Alpin
INVERMERE, B.C. (February 28, 2015) It was an evening filled with excitement, hope and anticipation as more than 115 elite para-athletes from 23 countries joined together to kick-off the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in downtown Invermere, BC.
Saturday marked the biggest gathering of para-alpine skiers since the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games in 2014. Alpine Canada Alpin, the event organizer, is incredibly honoured to be part of such an elite competition, which is being hosted for the first time in North America.
“Following the most successful Paralympic Winter Games in history a year ago, it is important that we focus even more on developing the sport and coming to venues like Panorama,” stated Patrick Jarvis, Governing Board Member of the International Paralympic Committee, during the competitions official opening ceremonies. “The slopes here are challenging, as rightly they should be, and the organisers have been working hard to ensure that everything is in place to stage a great competition.”
23 different nations participated in the Opening Ceremonies parade, which the local RCMP detachments lead down Main Street in Invermere. The competition officially began after officiates such as Patrick Jarvis - Governing Board Member of the International Paralympic Committee, Paul Kristofic - VP of Sport from Alpine Canada Alpine, Steve Paccagnan – CEO of Panorama Resort, and Gerry Taft – Mayor of Invermere addressed the crowd.
Canadian athletes are thrilled to have the opportunity to race at such a high level of competition on home turf. "Competing on home soil is a thrill unlike any other,” express long-time team member of the Canadian para-alpine athlete Matt Hallat. “I'm excited and ready to compete next week and I'm positive the Paralympic community around the world is excited to watch.”
All races will be held at Panorama Mountain Resort, with all ski races open for public viewing on March 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10. The event concludes Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 at Panorama. The Canadian para-alpine ski team is focused on a strong showing with potential for several podiums at the 2015 World Championships. The Canadian team is made up of veteran experience and youthful energy. Canadian athletes to watch are: Matt Hallat, Kimberly Joines, Mac Marcoux, Braydon Luscombe, Kurt Oatway and Kirk Schornstein.
"It is a very proud moment for all of us at Alpine Canada Alpin, as this is an opportunity to showcase the warmth, dedication and commitment of the members in our ski community. Our para-alpine athletes had enormous success in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games and I am thrilled to watch them perform on home soil at the World Championships,” stated President and CEO of Alpine Canada Alpin, Mark Rubinstein.
The IPC flag has been raised, the snow conditions are great and all athletes are focused, ready to compete for the title of World Champion. It’s go time.