By Andrew Mitchell
Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team athletes had a solid outing at the final World Cup in Arte Therme, Italy this past weekend with Canadians earning nine medals in three days and clinching four overall titles.
In the women’s standing category, Vancouver’s Lauren Woolstencroft was solid with three gold medals, starting with a gold in the slalom. The result put her firmly at the top of the standings, resulting in her first ever World Cup globe for the discipline.
“I feel very good about this globe — and very surprised as well,” she said.
Although slalom is traditionally her weakest event, Woolstencroft won all four World Cup slalom races this past season. With the slalom globe, she now has titles in all alpine disciplines to her credit.
Other Canadians also won medals. In the visually impaired category, Kathleen Forestall and guide Emily Glossop won the silver medal on the women’s side, while Chris Williamson and guide Karl Heinz Vachenauer won silver for the men.
Whistler’s Matt Hallatt just missed the podium in the men’s standing category, placing fourth.
The following day Woolstencroft won the giant slalom, earning the overall title in that discipline for a second straight year. Williams and Vachenauer picked up their second silver medal, while Forestall and Glossop earned a bronze.
Kimberly Joines was fifth in the women’s sitting category for the second straight day, while Hallat dropped back to 18 th .
In the super G, Woolstencroft earned a silver medal as well as the overall title. Kimberly Joines, more comfortable in the speed events, launched herself to a third place finish, while Williamson and Vachenauer picked up their third straight silver. Williamson also won the overall super G globe for his efforts, defending his title from last season.
Matthew Hallat was 15 th .
Both Williamson and Woolstencroft were also presented with overall globes for the most points in all disciplines.
The Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team finished its season ranked fourth, behind Austria, U.S.A. and Germany. Coming into this past weekend they had a chance to finish as high as second, with Canada, Germany and the U.S. almost neck and neck for total points.
The CPAST will be coming back to Canada to compete in the 2007 Para-Alpine Canadian Championships in Kimberley, B.C., which runs March 18 to 22.