SOCHI, RUS., March 16, 2014 – The Canadian para-alpine athletes competing in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games will leave Russia with eight medals – half of Canada’s overall medal haul.
Five athletes on the 14-person team won medals, including two gold. Sit-skier Josh Dueck, of Kimberley, B.C. – Canada’s flag bearer for the closing ceremony – won gold in super-combined and silver in downhill. Young gun visually impaired athlete Mac Marcoux, 16, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and guided by Mont-Trembalnt, Que.’s Robin Fémy, became what is believed to be Canada’s youngest-ever medal winner at a Paralympic para-alpine event when he impressed with three medals: gold in giant slalom, and bronze in both downhill and super-G.
Sit-skiers Caleb Brousseau, from Terrace, B.C., Kimberly Joines, of Rossland, B.C., and visually impaired athlete Chris Williamson, from Toronto, Ont., guided by Nick Brush, of Panorama, B.C., rounded out the medal count with bronze medals in super-G, slalom, and slalom, respectively.
The team hoped to win eight medals, including one gold, in Sochi, so with two gold medals in the bag they met and exceeded their goal.
“I’m really happy with the performance of the team here in Sochi,” said Brianne Law, athletic director of the para-alpine team. “We knew it was going to take everything coming together to meet our goal here, and so to exceed it is really rewarding.”
The number of athletes who took home medals is indicative of a team with a lot of depth, Law added.
“To me, the biggest thing is that five athletes represent those eight medals, which shows that we have many athletes who are in contention and in the hunt. Although we had a few disappointing days, overall I’m really happy with the team’s performance. Every day the athletes came out ready to compete to win.”
On the final day of competition, women’s giant slalom, standing athlete Erin Latimer of Etobicoke, Ont. was the top-placing Canadian, finishing in ninth with a two-run combined time of two minutes, 56.13 seconds. Also in the standing category, Calgary, Alta.’s Alexandra Starker was 10th (2:57.53), and Alana Ramsay, from Calgary, did not finish. Sit-skier Kimberly Joines of Rossland, B.C., who led the field after the first run, did not finish her second run.