KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (Alpine Canada) – Canada’s Alex Cairns closed the men’s technical racing at the 2019 IPC World Para Alpine Skiing Championships with a seventh-place finish in the slalom, marking his best-ever result in international competition.
Cairns, from Squamish, B.C., was the nation’s lone entry in the slalom, and the result was made sweeter as it arrived on his birthday.
“The first run was a sweet little birthday gift, the second run – not so much, but all’s well that ends well,” said Cairns, whose first run was over four seconds faster than his second. Conditions changed between the two runs as snowfall came into play for the second.
The 27-year-old came into the sport at the age of 16, and began racing after high school. Cairns competes in the sit-skiing events, and Wednesday’s seventh-place finish bests his previous career-best 10th in slalom at the 2018 Paralympic Games.
Wednesday’s slalom concludes the men’s technical events at Kranjska Gora, and the team will move on to Sella Nevea, Italy, after Thursday’s women’s slalom to tackle the world championships’ speed events.
“It’s focus time now,” said Cairns of his thoughts heading into the speed events. “(I’m) a little more scared for the next bit – to see how it runs on that hill. But I’m looking forward to getting there and checking it out.”
On Thursday, the first run is at 4 a.m. (EST) and the second at 7 a.m.