Alpine Stays As Medal Leader For USA

Photo by Michael Clubine John Oman has traded in the cold of his hometown of Hudson, Wis for the slightly warmer Russia as he competes in the Cross-Country 20km at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi.
Photo by Michael Clubine
John Oman has traded in the cold of his hometown of Hudson, Wis for the slightly warmer Russia as he competes in the Cross-Country 20km at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi.

By Brian Rank

SOCHI, Russia – It was a day for alpine skiing which reasserted itself as the wellspring of US medals in the Paralympics, adding two bronze in the super-G. Alpine skiing now has six of the seven US medals this far in the games. In cross-country skiing, Jake Adicoff finished sixth in the 20 kilometer race, while the wheelchair curling team lost twice in matches against Canada and Russia.

The Russian Federation continued its medal lead with 24 total including seven gold. The US has earned seven total, three silver and four bronze.

Below are recaps from the day’s events.

Alpine Skiing

Stephanie Jallen sped her way to the podium on Monday winning the bronze in the standing super-G with a time of 1:30.14. Teammate Allison Jones finished fourth and Melanie Schwartz took 10th. This was Jallen’s first Winter Paralympics appearance.

“It’s something I only dreamed about. I have never been a bigger believer that dreams come true than right now. I’ve imagined it for the last nine years of my life, and in my very first run in the Paralympic Games I score a bronze. I can’t wait to bring it home,” she said.

Teammate Laurie Stephens earned bronze in the sitting super-G, adding her second medal of the games after her bronze in sitting downhill on Saturday.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” she said. “I’m pretty excited. I feel like I could have skied better for sure but I am still happy. I’m taking things one day at a time and focusing on one turn at a time.”

In the visually impaired super-G, Danelle Umstead and guide Rob Umstead placed fourth.

Alana Nichols  and Stephani Victor both crashed on the mountain and were transported out by helicopter. Nichols was discharged and later tweeted “I am just fine” and that Victor “is also going to be okay.”

Cross-country Skiing

Jake Adicoff and his guide, Reid Pletcher, skied into a heated competition and rising temperatures (highs were in the mid-50s today), managing to place sixth in the 20 km cross-country race with  58:37.4 on the clock. Adicoff raced in the visually impaired category in the longest nordic event of the games.

Kevin Burton placed 10th in the race.

In the men’s 20 km cross-country classic John Oman placed 18th in his first event in the Winter Paralympics.

“Just getting the race under my belt was the biggest thing. It was my first Paralympic race and there is a lot to learn from this race, but I am smiling,” he said.

Wheelchair Curling

Team USA lost twice in the third day of the nine-game round robin. The US lost 7-2 to number-one ranked Canada and then 6-5 to second-ranked Russia. Team USA can not lose another game if it wants a spot in the playoffs on Saturday. The team was 1-4 at the end of the day Monday.

“I think there are going to be a whole lot of teams in that tiebreaker position, and I plan on being in it,” Patrick McDonald said. “I’m still not worried. Until someone comes up to me and says ‘We didn’t make it,’ we’ll concentrate and keep moving forward.”

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