Para-alpine skiing

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Para-alpine skiing
Paralympic 2010 - Alpine skiing - Talan Skeels-Piggins.jpg
Talan Skeels-Piggins from Great Britain in the first run for the Men's Slalom (Sitting), at the Winter Paralympics 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
Highest governing body International Paralympic Committee, International Ski Federation
First played1967
Characteristics
Team membersNo
Mixed gender No
TypeOutdoor
Equipment skis, sit-skis or mono-skis, poles or outrigger skis, and boots, helmet, goggles
Presence
Paralympic Part of the Paralympics programme since 1976 Winter Paralympics

Paralympic alpine skiing is an adaptation of alpine skiing for athletes with a disability. The sport evolved from the efforts of disabled veterans in Germany and Austria during and after the Second World War. The sport is governed by the International Paralympic Committee Sports Committee. The primary equipment used includes outrigger skis, sit-skis, and mono-skis. Para-alpine skiing disciplines include the Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Slalom, Super Combined and Snowboard.

Alpine skiing Sport of skiing downhill

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing, which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or sport, it is typically practised at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol.

International Paralympic Committee global governing body for the paralympic movement

The International Paralympic Committee is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games and functions as the international federation for nine sports. Founded on 22 September 1989 in Düsseldorf, Germany, its mission is to "enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world". Furthermore, the IPC wants to promote the Paralympic values and to create sport opportunities for all persons with a disability, from beginner to elite level.

Outrigger projecting structure on a boat

An outrigger is a projecting structure on a boat, with specific meaning depending on types of vessel. Outriggers may also refer to legs on a wheeled vehicle which are folded out when it needs stabilization, for example on a crane that lifts heavy loads.

Contents

Para-alpine skiing classification is the classification system for para-alpine skiing designed to ensure fair competition between alpine skiers with different types of disabilities. The classifications are grouped into three general disability types: standing, blind and sitting. A factoring system was created for para-alpine skiing to allow the three classification groupings to fairly compete against each other in the same race despite different functional skiing levels and medical problems.

Para-alpine skiing classification is the classification system for para-alpine skiing designed to ensure fair competition between alpine skiers with different types of disabilities. The classifications are grouped into three general disability types: standing, blind and sitting. Classification governance is handled by International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing. Prior to that, several sport governing bodies dealt with classification including the International Sports Organization for the Disabled (ISOD), International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMWSF), International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CP-ISRA). Some classification systems are governed by bodies other than International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing, such as the Special Olympics. The sport is open to all competitors with a visual or physical disability. It is not open to people with intellectual disabilities.

Alpine skiing was one of the foundation sports at the first Winter Paralympics in 1976 with Slalom and Giant Slalom events being held. Different disciplines were added to the Paralympic programme over time. The 2010 Winter Paralympics para-alpine skiing events were held at Whistler Creekside. The disciplines at Whistler included Downhill, Super-Combined, Super-G, Slalom and Giant Slalom.

1976 Winter Paralympics

The 1976 Winter Paralympic Games were the first Winter Paralympics. They were held in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, from 21 to 28 February 1976. The disabilities included in this Paralympics were blindness and amputees. Sixteen countries took part with 196 athletes. There were competitions in Alpine and Nordic skiing for amputee and visually impaired athletes, and a demonstration event in ice sledge racing.

2010 Winter Paralympics

The 2010 Winter Paralympics, officially the X Paralympic Winter Games, or the tenth Winter Paralympics, were held in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada from March 12 to 21, 2010. The Opening Ceremony took place in BC Place Stadium in Vancouver and the Closing Ceremony in Whistler. With a theme of "One Inspires Many," the Opening Ceremony featured over 5000 local performers. Fifteen-year-old snowboarder Zach Beaumont, who is an amputee, was the final torch bearer and lit the Games Cauldron. The 2 hours live ceremony was produced by Vancouver-based Patrick Roberge Productions Inc.

History

Skiing as a sport for people with disabilities traces its origins back to the Second World War, which produced large numbers of wounded soldiers. In Germany, Franz Wendel, an amputee who had lost a leg, successfully attached a pair of crutches to short skis. Sepp "Peppi" Zwicknagel, an Austrian veteran who had lost both his legs to a hand grenade, taught himself to ski and eventually became a ski instructor at Kitzbühel, founded a division of the Austrian Ski Association for handicapped skiers. By 1947, annual races were being held in Austria. Ludwig Guttman, a key figure in the history of paralympic sport, helped organise ski events. In the United States, Gretchen Fraser began teaching skiing to amputees in army hospitals. By the 1960s, a number of organisations had been founded. For a long time, disability skiing was restricted to amputees, but in 1969, blind skier Jean Eymere, a former ski instructor before he lost his eyesight, began a skiing program in Aspen, Colorado for blind skiers. The first international competition, the World Disabled Alpine Championships, was held in France in 1974. [1]

Kitzbühel Place in Tyrol, Austria

Kitzbühel is a medieval town situated in the Kitzbühel Alps along the river Kitzbüheler Ache in Tyrol, Austria, about 100 kilometers east of the state capital Innsbruck and is the administrative centre of the Kitzbühel district (Bezirk). Kitzbühel is a ski resort of international renown and its ski season lasts from mid October to early May. During winter and early spring it is frequented primarily by upper-class clientele from Austria and from abroad.

Gretchen Kunigk Fraser was an alpine ski racer. She was the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in skiing. She was also the skiing stand-in for ice skater Sonja Henie in the movies Thin Ice (1937) and Sun Valley Serenade (1941).

Aspen, Colorado Town in Colorado, United States

Aspen is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. Its population was 6,658 at the 2010 United States Census. Aspen is in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains' Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains, along the Roaring Fork River at an elevation just below 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level on the Western Slope, 11 miles (18 km) west of the Continental Divide.

Events

Paralympics

Australian Paralympian Michael Milton at the 1988 Innsbruck Winter Games. Ddmm88 - Innsbruck Paralympic Games M.Milton - 3b- scanned photo.jpg
Australian Paralympian Michael Milton at the 1988 Innsbruck Winter Games.

Alpine skiing was one of the foundation sports at the first Winter Paralympics in 1976 with Slalom and Giant Slalom events being held. [2] [3] At the 1984 Winter Paralympics, the Downhill event was added to the para-alpine programme, [2] along with sit-skiing as a demonstration sport. [4] At the 1992 Winter Paralympics in Albertville, Downhill, Giant and Slalom events were on the programme. [5] At the 1994 Winter Paralympics, the Super Giant Slalom was added to the para-alpine skiing programme. [2] [6] In 1998, para-alpine skiing classes for sitting and visually impaired skiers were added as full medal events after only having standing classes competing in previous Games. [2] [4]

1984 Winter Paralympics

The 1984 Winter Paralympic Games were the third Winter Paralympics. They were held from 14 to 20 January 1984 in Innsbruck, Austria. They were the first Winter Games organized by the International Co-ordinating Committee (ICC), which was formed on March 15, 1982, in Leysin, Switzerland. These Games were accessible for all athletes with cerebral palsy. For the first time, an exhibition event was held at the Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo and 30 male three-track skiers took part in the Giant Slalom event. Three sports were contested: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and ice sledge speed racing. The most successful athlete was German alpine skier Reinhild Moeller, who won 3 gold medals and 1 silver medal. The Games, then known as the Third World Winter Games for the Disabled, were fully sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

1992 Winter Paralympics

The 1992 Winter Paralympics were the fifth Winter Paralympics. They were the first winter Paralympics to be celebrated concurrently with the Olympic Games. They were also the first ever Paralympics at any event in France. They were held in Tignes and Albertville, France, from March 25 to April 1, 1992. For the first time, demonstration events in Alpine and Nordic Skiing for athletes with an intellectual disability and Biathlon for athletes with a visual impairment were held.

Albertville Subprefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Albertville is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

At the 2002 Winter Paralympics, women's Downhill and men's visually impaired Downhill were held on day 1 with men's standing and sitting Downhill taking place on day 2. Men's standing and sitting Super-G took place on day 3, with men's visually impaired and women's Super-G taking place on day 5. Men's standing and sitting Giant Slalom took place on day 7, with women's and men's visually impaired Giant Slalom taking place on day 8. Men's standing and sitting Slalom took place on day 9, with women's and men's visually impaired Slalom taking place on day 10. [7]

2002 Winter Paralympics

The 2002 Winter Paralympics, the eighth Winter Paralympics, were held in Salt Lake City, United States, from March 7 to 16, 2002. A total of 416 athletes from 36 nations participated. They were the first Winter Paralympics in the American continent. These were the first Paralympic Winter Games for Andorra, Chile, China, Croatia, Greece, and Hungary. Ragnhild Myklebust of Norway won five gold medals in skiing and biathlon, becoming the most successful Winter Paralympic athlete of all time with 22 medals, 17 of them gold.

For the 2006 Winter Paralympics, major changes were made to the classification system used for the Games that combined the 14 classes used into three groups with the results factored across different classifications in the group. [2] At those Games, in the Super-G, there were 55 male competitors compared to 18 women in the standing group. [6]

The 2010 Winter Paralympics para-alpine skiing events were held at Whistler Creekside. [8] The disciplines at Whistler included Downhill, Super-Combined, Super-G, Slalom and Giant Slalom. [3] [9] It was the first time the super-combined was on the Paralympic programme. [6] In the Downhill event, there were 25 men and 18 women in the standing class, 25 men and 10 women in the sitting class and 12 men and 10 women in the vision impaired class. [8] In the super-combined, there were 18 men and 14 women for standing, 18 men and 10 women for sitting and 10 men and 10 women for vision impaired. [8] The Slalom race had the shortest course length of the major para-alpine events at the Games. [10] The Downhill was held for both men and women in all classes on day 2. The Super-G was held for men and women in standing classes on day 3, with visual impaired and sit-skiers competing in the Super-G on day 4. The Super Combined for all classes and both genders was held on day 5. The standing Giant Slalom for men and women was held on day 7 and the remaining classes on day 8. The Slalom was held for standing men and women on day 9 and remaining classes on day 10. [11]

The 2014 Winter Paralympics para-alpine skiing took place at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. [12] Added to this discipline these games was the para-snowboard cross [13] which was held at Rosa Khutor along with the Super-G, Downhill, Super-Combined, Slalom and Giant Slalom. [14] In the Downhill event for the visually impaired there were 11 men [15] and 6 women. [16] For the Downhill standing, there were 17 men [17] and 8 women. [18] For the Downhill sitting, 22 men [19] and 6 women [20] participated. In the Super-G for the visually impaired, there were 15 men [21] and 6 women. [22] The Super-G standing event had 31 men [23] and 15 women. [24] The Super-G sitting was participated by 31 men [25] and 8 women. [26] The men's and women's Super Combined Downhill and Super Combined Slalom took place on March 11 [14] and both gender's Para-Snowboard Cross events took place on March 14. [14]

World Championships

Governance, rules and events

International and national events for the sport include the Winter Paralympics, World Championships, World Cups, Continental Cups, National Championships, IPCAS Races and IPCAS Para-Snowboard. [27] Skiers from 39 different countries actively compete in para-alpine skiing [4] in a sport is that one of eight governed by the International Paralympic Committee Sports Committee, [28] [9] with rules for para-alpine skiing set forth in the IPCAS Rules and Regulations. [4] Event specific rules may be created for events like the Paralympic Games. One set of rules was created in 1994 and were specified in the IPC Handbook. This was used to govern IPC-sanctioned events like the Paralympic Games for many years. [29] Competition rules for classes use rules set by or modified from rules created by the International Ski Federation (ISF). [30] These rules were set at the 42nd International Ski Conference in 2000. The two rule sets worked in concert with each other, with the ISF rules specifying the rules for alpine skiing, and the IPC providing modifications for para-alpine skiing. [29] The IPC Alpine Sports Assembly Executive Committee can determine if skiers are eligible to compete in IPC sanctioned events at their own discretion regardless of what the rules say. [31] National Paralympic Committees can have their own rule sets at national competitions. [32]

Equipment

A disabled veteran uses a sit ski at Vail, Colorado. Vail Veterans monoski.jpg
A disabled veteran uses a sit ski at Vail, Colorado.

Sitting

The primary equipment used in the sport includes outrigger skis, sit-skis, and mono-skis. [33] [9] Depending on the classification, other equipment may be used by skiers including guide skiers, cut-down ski poles, orthopedic aids, or prostheses. For standing skiers, different class rules determine what sort of equipment is allowed in competition, such as one pole, two poles or no poles, or one or two skis. [34] Rules for equipment use in competition are set by FIS and the IPC. [35]

There are minimum lengths for skis used in competition, with men's skis needing to be at least 165 centimetres (65 in) long and women's skis needing to be at least 155 centimetres (61 in) long. Bindings used for skis have a maximum height of 55 millimetres (2.2 in). [4]

Sit-skis are designed for wheelchair users or other skiers with a form of paraplegia. The first sit-ski was built in 1967 by Josef Shrall from the Bavaria region of Germany. Early sit-skis used in para-alpine skiing had two wide skis, brakes, and were custom built to fit the specific skier. The weight of the ski prevented skiers from skiing moguls or steep slopes. Sit-ski development continued into the 1980s, with a more modern version demonstrated in Engelberg, Switzerland in 1987 at a workshop hosted by the Swiss Association of Paraplegics. As the technology advanced, a chair was developed that could be attached to the skis which were used by able-bodied skiers. They are now made from fibreglass and polyester, and the weight has been dramatically reduced, allowing skiers to ski on steeper slopes and compete in the moguls. [33] Current sit-skis include seat-belts. [4] As skis for able-bodied skiers have evolved to specialise for the event, the skis that sit-skiers use have also changed. [33]

Sit-skiers use a specially designed ski called a mono-ski, [10] sometimes called a maxi mono-ski. It is used by skiers with lower limb disabilities including paralysis. A variation of the mono-ski exists for skiers with bilateral, above the knee amputations. The mono-ski was developed in Austria in the early 1980s by bilateral above-the-knee amputee Josef Feirsinger and engineer Horst Morokuti. The fundamental design they created is still the one used for mono-skis currently used in competition. [33] The mono-ski was quickly used by German skiers who built their own at a workshop in Tübingen. The mono-ski uses the same skis used for able-bodied alpine skiing, adapted so that the skier sits on a chair attached to the ski via a spring. The mono-ski was first used at the 1988 Winter Paralympics. [33]

A monoski, also known as a sit-ski, consists of a molded seat mounted on a metal frame. A shock absorber beneath the seat eases riding on uneven terrain and helps in turning by maximizing ski-snow contact. Modern monoskis [36] interface with a single, ordinary alpine ski by means of a "ski foot," a metal or plastic block in the shape of a boot sole that clicks into the ski's binding. A monoskier uses outriggers for stability; an outrigger resembles a forearm crutch with a short ski on the bottom. People new to mono-skiing are often surprised to see how much terrain is skiable in a monoski; advanced monoskiers can be found not only carving turns on groomed runs but also skiing moguls, terrain parks, race courses, glades and even backcountry terrain—in short, wherever stand-up skiers can go.

As alpine ski technology has advanced, so has monoski technology. In North America in the 1970s and early 1980s, early "sit-skis" took the form of fiberglass sleds with metal runners. The first downhill sit-ski in the US, the Arroya, was invented by American Peter Axelson in 1978. [37] [38] [39] Dragging very long poles or "slicks" in the snow were the method in which turns were actually made harder, although not effectively. Few users became proficient enough to descend even intermediate terrain without assistance from a "tetherer." By the early '80s, Europeans were experimenting with "ski-bobs" that mounted on two small skis. In place of today's minimal bucket seats were large fiberglass or Kevlar shells, and leaf springs at first were used instead of slide absorbers. The three-ski design proved accident prone, and it was soon abandoned for a single ski by most manufacturers. [40] By the middle of the decade, the technology had migrated to Canada, and on both continents the modern monoski began to emerge. In the United States, Enabling Technologies' [41] Unique, Sunrise Medical's Shadow, and Dan Fallon's Fallonski were some of the first commercially available monoskis. Praschberger [42] (Austria), Tessier (France), and DynAccess (USA) are some of the major companies.

In 1984, monoskiers took part in the 1984 Innsbruck Paralympic Winter Games as a demonstration sport; [43] in Innsbruck 1988, full medal categories were added for sitting skiers.

Standing

For standing competitors, outrigger skis can be used in some classifications. These are ski poles with small skis on the end. [33] [10] [9] They assist a skier balancing as they ski down the slopes, [9] and in moving uphill for short distances, enabling skiers to do things like a climb a slope to get on a chair lift. [33]

Other equipment

Beyond this equipment, skiers also gear up wearing special boots, helmets, ski suits, and goggles. [9] At the Paralympic Games, this equipment is prohibited from having advertisements on it. [35] The boots attach to the ski at the heel and toe, and are designed to provide support to foot and ankle with the use of materials in boot construction like hard plastics. All helmets used in competition are required to be hard-shell helmets. [4]

For skiers with visual impairments, guides are used to assist the skier down the course. [10] Guides are skiers who do not have a vision impairment who assist a skier down the slopes by telling the skier where to go using their voice or a radio. [9] Skiers can use more than one guide in the course of a competition, but the guide is only eligible for a medal if they have competed with the same skier for the duration of the discipline event. [44] Like the skier, the guide is required to have an IPCAS Licence in order to participate in a competition [45] and adhere to anti-doping rules. [46]

Disciplines

Para-alpine skiing disciplines include the Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Slalom, Super Combined and Snowboard. [10] [47] The rules for these disciplines are based on the rules set by the International Ski Federation, though some rules have been adapted for skiers with disabilities. [10] While skiing in these disciplines, skiers can reach speeds of 100 kilometres (62 mi) an hour. [4]

Downhill

A Norwegian skier in the downhill at the 1988 Winter Paralympics Xx0188 - 1988 winter paralympics - 3b - scans (13).jpg
A Norwegian skier in the downhill at the 1988 Winter Paralympics

This is a speed based timed discipline, where competitors ski down a steep course that can finish 450 metres (1,480 ft) to 800 metres (2,600 ft) lower than it started [48] while containing many turns and jumps. [10] [49] The winner is determined based on one run down the course, with the competitor with the fastest time being the winner. [10] Skiers navigate between gates in the Downhill, the fewest number gates amongst all para-alpine disciplines, and if they miss a set, they are disqualified. [50] [32] In some competitions that require qualification for entry, a skier can qualify for this discipline through Downhill or Super-G. [49] There are Disabled FIS points available in sanctioned events. [49] This race is included on the current Paralympic programme. [4]

Skis for women must be at least 200 centimetres (79 in) long with a tolerance of 1 centimetre (0.39 in). For men, the ski length must be at least 205 centimetres (81 in) long with the same tolerance. Women and men's skis need a minimum radius of 45 metres (148 ft). [51] Skiers used curved ski poles for this event. Men and women both need their skis to have a profile radius of 67 millimetres (2.6 in). [9] Top speeds in this event can be up to 100 kilometres (62 mi) an hour. [50] Before the start of the event, the skier is required to do a practice run, and is required to wear a helmet during all their runs. [52]

Super-G

Developed in the 1980s, [48] the Super-G is less technical than others, and is known for the speed of the skier, [6] [49] who navigate a course that has a vertical drop between 400 metres (1,300 ft) to 600 metres (2,000 ft) from top to bottom. [48] Compared to other para-alpine skiing disciplines, this course tends to be mid-length. It is longer than the Giant Slalom and the Slalom but shorter than the Downhill course. [10] In this discipline, competitors ski between alternating red and blue gates [48] that are 25 metres (82 ft) apart, [10] with men needing to clear 35 gates and women needing to clear 30 gates. [6] In some competitions that require qualification for entry, a skier can qualify for this discipline through Downhill, Slalom or Super-G. [49] There are Disabled FIS points available in sanctioned events. [49] This race is included on the current Paralympic programme. [4]

Skis for women must be at least 200 centimetres (79 in) long with a tolerance of 1 centimetre (0.39 in). For men, the ski length must be at least 205 centimetres (81 in) long with the same tolerance. Women and men's skis need a minimum radius of 33 metres (108 ft). Men and women both need their skis to have a profile radius of 65 millimetres (2.6 in). [51] Skiers used curved ski poles for this event. [9]

Giant Slalom

With a vertical drop of 300 metres (980 ft) to 400 metres (1,300 ft), [48] this is one of the more technical of the para-alpine skiing disciplines. [53] This discipline involves two runs down a course straighter and shorter than the Downhill, [10] but longer and having fewer turns than the Slalom course. [53] The winner is determined based on the combined time for both races. [53] After the first run, the bottom 20% of finishers can be eliminated from the competition at the discretion of the judges. [54] The starting order for the second run is starts with the slowest of the top 15 skiers, with the fastest skier in the first run skiing 15th. Any skiers who finished outside the top 15 then ski in order based on their times from the first run. For example, the 18th fastest finisher in the first run skis 18th in the second run. [35] In some competitions, this is modified using 30 skiers instead of 15. [48] The IPC/FIS run jointly sanctioned events for Slalom. [49] This race is included on the current Paralympic programme. [4] Skiers used straight ski poles for this event. [9]

Slalom

Australian Paralympic athlete Rod Hacon at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer Dd0394- Lillehammer Winter Games, R.Hacon - 3b- scanned photo.jpg
Australian Paralympic athlete Rod Hacon at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer

The name for this event is from a Norwegian word meaning "sloping path." [55] This event is the most technical para-alpine skiing disciplines, [55] [32] with a vertical drop of only 140 metres (460 ft) to 220 metres (720 ft) on an intentionally iced course. [48] This is the shortest of all the para-alpine skiing events and uses two different courses. Skiers go down each course once, with their finishing position being determined based on their combined course completion time. [10] [55] There are gates in this event, about 55-75 for men and 40-60 for women, [32] and if a skier misses a gate, they are disqualified from the race. [10] After the first run, the bottom 20% of finishers can be eliminated from the competition at the discretion of the judges. [54] The starting order for the second run is starts with the slowest of the top 15 skiers, with the fastest skier in the first run skiing 15th. Any skiers who finished outside the top 15 then ski in order based on their times from the first run. For example, the 18th fastest finisher in the first run skis 18th in the second run. [35] Skiers used straight ski poles for this event. [9] In some competitions that require qualification for entry, a skier can qualify for this discipline through Downhill, Slalom or Super-G. [49] The IPC/FIS run jointly sanctioned events for Slalom. [49] This race is included on the current Paralympic programme. [4] Skiers often wear pads when competing in this discipline. [9]

Super Combined

The Super Combined event is a combination of two disciplines such as the Slalom and the Super G, [10] or the Downhill and the Slalom. In the event, skiers go down the Downhill course once, and the Slalom course twice. The times for the races are combined, with the fastest time winning. [6]

Snowboard

Snowboard has vertical drops between 100 metres (330 ft) and 240 metres (790 ft) for both men's and women's races with the course being run over a distance of 400 metres (1,300 ft) to 900 metres (3,000 ft). The course has alternating gates. [47] The sport is only open to standing competitors. [27]

Classification

Para-alpine skiing classification is the classification system for para-alpine skiing designed to ensure fair competition between alpine skiers with different types of disabilities. [56] The classifications are grouped into three general disability types: standing, blind and sitting. [57] Classification governance is handled by International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing. [58] Skiers are classified based on medical assessment, and their body position when they ski. [10] Blind skiers are evaluated purely on a medical assessment. [59] Prior to that, several sport governing bodies dealt with classification including the International Sports Organization for the Disabled (ISOD), International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMWSF), International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CP-ISRA). [60] [61] Some classification systems are governed by bodies other than International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing for systems not used in international competition. [62] The sport is open to all competitors with a visual or physical disability. It is not open to people with intellectual disabilities. [58] [62]

The first classification systems for para-alpine skiing were developed in Scandinavia, with early systems designed for skiers with amputations. [63] At the time, equipment had yet to be developed to allow participation for skiers with spinal cord injuries. [60] The goal of the early classification systems was to be functional but ended up being medical classification systems. [64] [63] At the first Winter Paralympics in 1976, there were two classifications for the sport. [63] By the 1980s, classification existed for skiers with cerebral palsy. [65] At that time, with inspiration from wheelchair basketball classification, efforts were made to make classification more of a functional system. [63] Ten classes existed by the 1980s, [66] and since then, efforts have been made to improve the efficiency of classification by reducing the number of classes so fewer medals can be rewarded. [57]

Standing classes
ClassDescriptionTypical equipment
LW 1Double leg amputation above the knee, moderate to severe cerebral palsy, or equivalent impairmentTwo skis, two outriggers
LW 2Single leg amputation above the kneeOne ski, two outriggers
LW 3Double leg amputation below the knee, mild cerebral palsy, or equivalent impairmentTwo skis, two poles
LW 4Single leg amputation below the kneeTwo skis, two poles
LW 5/7-1Double arm amputation above the elbowTwo skis, no poles
LW 5/7-2Double arm amputation, one above and one below the elbowTwo skis, no poles
LW 5/7-3Double arm amputation below the elbowTwo skis, no poles
LW 6/8-1Single arm amputation above the elbowTwo skis, one pole
LW 6/8-2Single arm amputation below the elbowTwo skis, one pole
LW 9-1 Amputation or equivalent impairment of one arm and one leg above the kneeChoice of equipment
LW 9-2 Amputation or equivalent impairment of one arm and one leg below the kneeChoice of equipment
Sitting classes (monoskiers)
ClassDescription
LW 10-1 Paraplegia with no upper abdominal function and no functional sitting balance
LW 10-2 Paraplegia with some upper abdominal function and no functional sitting balance
LW 11 Paraplegia with fair functional sitting balance
LW 12-1 Paraplegia with some leg function and good sitting balance
LW 12-2Double leg amputation above the knees
Visually impaired classes
ClassDescription
B1 Totally blind
B2 Visual acuity of less than 2/60
B3 Visual acuity of 2/60 to 6/60

Factor system

A factoring system was created for para-alpine skiing to allow the grouping of classifications into three general groups: sitting, standing and visually impaired. One medal event can then be held for each group even though there is a wide range of functional mobility and medical differences. The factoring system works by having a number for each class based on their functional mobility or vision levels, where the results are calculated by multiplying the finish time by the factored number. The resulting number is the one used to determine the winner in events where the factor system is used. This means the faster skier down a hill may not be the winner of an event. [67]

The factoring system is used at several para-alpine skiing competitions including the Alpine Cup, North American Races, European Cup, World Cup events, World Championships, and the Winter Paralympics. [67] Disciplines use factored results to combine classes unless there are six or more skiers competing in a specific class. [35]

See Also

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Alpine skiing at the 1994 Winter Paralympics, in Lillehammer (Norway), consisted of 66 events, 46 for men and 20 for women.

2011 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships

The 2011 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships was held in Sestriere, Italy, from January 14 to 23, 2011. IPC stands for International Paralympic Committee.

Australia at the 1992 Winter Paralympics

Australia competed at the 1992 Winter Paralympics in Tignes and Albertville in France. They were the first winter Paralympics to be celebrated concurrently with the Olympic Games. The official logo of the Games was designed by Jean-Michel Folon.It depicts a bird with broken wings, soaring high across the peak of a mountain. This was used to reflect the sporting abilities of the athletes at the Games. The official mascot, Alpy, designed by Vincent Thiebaut, represented the summit of the Grande Motte mountain in Tignes. Alpy was shown on a mono-ski to demonstrate its athleticism and the colours of white, green and blue were used to represent purity/snow, hope/nature and discipline/the lake. The 1992 Games were where Australia won their first winter medals at the Paralympics. Michael Milton won Australia's first gold with a win in the Men's Slalom LW2. Milton also won a silver medal in the Men's Super G LW2. At these Games, Australia was represented by 5 male athletes. Australia was placed 12th in the overall medal tally for the Winter Games winning a total of 4 medals: 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze.

Australia at the 1994 Winter Paralympics

The 1994 Winter Paralympics were held in Lillehammer, Norway. Australia sent six male skiers, who won three gold, two silver and four bronze medals. Australia, at the time, achieved their best ever performance at a Winter Paralympics, finishing 5th overall in the alpine skiing competition, 9th in the medal standings, and 11th in the total medal count out of 31 nations.

LW12 is a para-Alpine and para-Nordic sit skiing sport class defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). An LW12 skier needs to meet a minimum of one of several conditions including a single below knee but above ankle amputation, monoplegia that exhibits similar to below knee amputation, legs of different length where there is at least a 7 centimetres difference, combined muscle strength in the lower extremities less than 71. For international competitions, classification is done through IPC Alpine Skiing or IPC Nordic Skiing. For sub-international competitions, classification is done by a national federation such as Alpine Canada. For para-Alpine, this class is subdivided into two subclasses.: LW12.1 and LW12.2. A new sit-skier competitor with only national classification will compete as LW12.2 in international competitions until they have been internationally classified.

LW11

LW11 is a para-Alpine and para-Nordic sit skiing sport class, a classification defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC for people with paralysis in the lower extremities and people with cerebral palsy that affects the lower half of the body. Outside of skiing, the competitor in this class is unable to walk. For international competitions, classification is done through IPC Alpine Skiing or IPC Nordic Skiing. For sub-international competitions, classification is done by a national federation such as Alpine Canada.

LW10 sit-skiing classification for disabled skiers

LW10 is a para-Alpine and para-Nordic sit-skiing classification for skiers who cannot sit up without support. For international skiing competitions, classification is conducted by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing and IPC Nordic Skiing, while national federations such as Alpine Canada handle classification for domestic competitions.

LW1 (classification)

LW1 is a para-Alpine standing skiing classification for people with severe lower extreme disabilities in both extremities. It includes both skiers with amputations and cerebral palsy. International classification is done through International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing, and national classification through local national sport federations. LW1 classified skiers use outriggers, and two skis or one ski with a prosthesis. Other equipment is used during training such as ski-tips, ski-bras, and short skis.

LW2 (classification)

LW2 is a para-Alpine and para-Nordic standing ski sport class defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Competitors in this class have severe disability in a lower limb, which may be a result of an amputation, or arthrodesis in the leg and hip. Depending on the type of skiing, the international classification process for LW2 skiers is handled by the IPC Alpine Skiing Technical Committee and IPC Nordic Skiing Technical Committee. National sport federations handle classification on the lower levels.

LW3 is a para-Alpine and para-Nordic standing skiing sport class defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for skiers with a disability affecting both legs, with double below knee amputation or a combined strength total for both legs of 60, with 80 as the baseline for people without disabilities. For international skiing competitions, classification is done through IPC Alpine Skiing or IPC Nordic Skiing. The classification has two subclasses for para-Alpine skiing: LW3.1 which is for people with double below the knee amputations or similar disabilities, and LW3.2 which is for people with cerebral palsy that involves moderate athetoid, moderate ataxic impairment or slight diplegic involvement.

LW4 is a para-Alpine and para-Nordic standing skiing sport class defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for skiers who may have a disability in one lower extremity, which may be a result of a leg amputation below the knee, knee arthrodesis or a hip arthrodesis. For international skiing competitions, classification is done through IPC Alpine Skiing or IPC Nordic Skiing. A national federation such as Alpine Canada handles classification for domestic competitions.

LW5/7 is a standing para-Alpine and para-Nordic skiing classification for skiers with upper extremity issues in both limbs that may include double amputation of both arms and hands or dysmelia of the upper limbs. The class has three subclasses defined by the location of the disability on the upper extremities. International classification is done by IPC Alpine Skiing and IPC Nordic Skiing. On the national level, classification is handled by national sports federation such as Cross-Country Canada.

LW6/8

LW6/8 is a para-Alpine and para-Nordic standing skiing sport class, a classification defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for people with an upper extremity issue who have paralysis, motor paresis affecting one arm, a single upper arm amputation or CP8 classified cerebral palsy. LW6/8 skiers use two skis and one pole in both para-Alpine and para-Nordic skiing.

LW9 is a para-Alpine and para-Nordic standing skiing sport class, a classification defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for people with upper and lower limb function problems, and includes cerebral palsy skiers classified CP5, CP6 and CP7, along with people with hemiplegia or amputations. For international skiing competitions, classification is done through IPC Alpine Skiing or IPC Nordic Skiing. A national federation such as Alpine Canada handles classification for domestic competitions. This classification is separated into two subclasses including LW9.1 and LW9.2.

Andy Bor Disability ski guide

Andy Bor was an Australian ski coach and sighted guide for visually impaired skiers. He was a coach at the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Torino, and was Melissa Perrine's guide skier at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver and 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi.

2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships

The 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships was an international disability sport alpine skiing event held in Panorama Mountain Village, British Columbia, Canada from March 2 to 10, 2015. The Championship is held biannually by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and is the largest event of its type outside the Winter Paralympics.

2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships

The 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships was an international disability sport alpine skiing event held in La Molina ski resort in Spain from 18 to 27 February 2013. The Championship is held biannually by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and is the largest event of its type outside the Winter Paralympics.

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