Sochi 2014: Top 14 performers18.03.2014
Find out who performed best on the world stage at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Find out who performed best on the world stage at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Seventy-two sets of medals were awarded at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics.
1. Roman Petushkov, Russia (Nordic skiing)
As the host nation’s biggest veteran star, Petushkov was the most decorated individual at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics, wining six golds in seven events. In biathlon, he won the men’s 7.5km, 12.5km and 15km distances in the sitting class. In cross-country skiing, he won the 12.5km and 15km distances, along with the 4x2.5km open relay.
2. Anna Schaffelhuber, Germany (alpine skiing)
The 21-year-old could not have fared any better, as she won gold in all five of her events in the women’s sitting class: downhill, giant slalom, slalom, super combined and super-G.
3. Steve Cash, USA (ice sledge hockey)
Now the top-performing goaltender at the last two Paralympic Winter Games, Cash had a stellar performance for the back-to-back Paralympic champions. In Sochi, he recorded 43 saves and a save percentage of 95.56, and he did not allow a single goal during the medal round.
4. Brian McKeever, Canada (Nordic skiing)
By taking the title in three cross-country skiing events – the men’s 1km sprint, 10km and 20km visually impaired races – McKeever increased his career Paralympic golds to In the 1im sprint, he overcame a fall at the start of the race to dramatically win gold.
5. Marie Bochet, France (alpine skiing)
In the women’s standing class, Bochet starred as expected, taking gold in four races. At just 20 years old, she stood atop the podium after the downhill, giant slalom, super-combined and super-G events.
6. Markus Salcher, Austria (alpine skiing)
The budding star won his rivalry with compatriot Matthias Lanzinger outright by winning two of his events and taking bronze in the other. Salcher, a standing skier, won the downhill and super-G and finished with the bronze in the giant slalom.
7. Josh Sweeney, USA (ice sledge hockey)
Coming into the games a war hero, Sweeney left the games a Paralympic hero, scoring the game-winning goal for the USA in the gold-medal game against Russia. He was trending worldwide on Twitter soon after scoring.
8. Adam Dixon, Canada (ice sledge hockey)
Arguably the top performaning defenceman at the Games, Dixon led the bronze-medal winning team with seven points, including four goals and three assists.
9. Sonja Gaudet, Canada (wheelchair curling)
After carrying Canada's flag at the Opening Ceremony, Gaudet led the team to their third conseuctive Paralympic gold in the sport. She has now been on all three winning teams in wheelchair curling at the Paralympics.
10. Vladimir Kamantcev, Russia (ice sledge hockey)
As an unexpected bright spot for the Russians, the goaltender helped push the host nation to a silver-medal finish in their Paralympic debut. Kamantcev played 180 minutes between the posts, recording 40 saves and a save percentage of 95.24.
11. Alexey Bugaev, Russia (alpine skiing)
At just 16, he became a crowd favourite, racking up five medals in the men’s standing class. He won the slalom and super-combined, finished second in the downhill and giant slalom, and placed third in the super-G.
12. Elena Remizova, Russia (Nordic skiing)
As one of the host nation’s surprises of the Games, Remizova came away with three golds and a silver in the women’s cross-country skiing visually impaired races. She won the 5km and 15km distances, along with the 4x2.5km mixed relay, and she finished second in the 1km sprint.
13. Bibian Mentel-Spee, Netherlands (snowboard)
The Dutch rider was the first athlete to ever win gold in snowboard at the Paralympics, as the sport made its debut. In addition to dominating the women’s competition, she was bestowed with the Whang Young Dai Award for exemplifying the Paralympic spirit.
14. Evan Strong, USA (snowboard)
The Hawaiian native led an American sweep of the podium in the men’s snowboard competition, becoming the first man to win Paralympic gold in the sport. Teammates Mike Shea and Keith Gabel joined him on the podium.
A taste of the best action from the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.
The best action from the final day of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. To see the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games schedule, results, medals table and details of where to watch on TV, please visit http://www.paralympic.org. For details on Paralympic classification, please visit: http://www.paralympic.org/classification
For the second straight Winter Paralympics, a female skier won five alpine golds.
"I knew that I could reach gold in every discipline, but I have never believed that I would do that."
Anna Schaffelhuber won her fifth title in the final women’s sit-ski event on the closing day of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics on Sunday (16 March) at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre.
The German sit skier won the women’s giant slalom sitting class with a combined time of 2:51.26 to become the second straight woman to sweep all five alpine events at the Paralympics.
Canadian Lauren Woolstencroft won five gold medals on her home soil in Vancouver four years ago in the standing class.
"I knew that I could reach gold in every discipline, but I have never believed that I would do that," Schaffelhuber said.
Schaffelhuber — who was second at the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, Spain, in the giant slalom — also won gold in downhill, super G, slalom and super combined in the women's sitting class in Sochi. She won the slalom after originally being disqualified in the first run of the event only to have that ruling overturn.
"The highlight is not the five gold medals, the highlight is staying together with the whole team after the whole disqualification,” she said. “I felt we are a team and everyone is working for everyone.
"It's amazing, I can't believe it. I'm looking forward to the dream becoming reality because until now I haven't realised it."
Austria’s Claudia Loesch, who is the reigning world champion in the event, finished in second place with a time of 2:55.91 while Schaffelhuber’s teammate Anna-Lena Forster won bronze in 2:59.33.
After Sunday’s first run, Schaffelhuber sat in second with a time of 1:31.60 behind Canadian Kimberly Joines (1:30.44). The USA’s Alana Nichols (133.49) was third after the first run five days after crashing in the super-G and receiving medical treatment.
"I feel so fortunate to leave the hospital with no broken bones, just a few stitches on my chin,” Nichols (3:00.24), who finished fourth despite doing a full spin on her second run, said after her first run. “But that's part of life."
Coming into Sochi skiing speculators predicted it would be France’s world champion, Marie Bochet, going for five golds since she swept all five events at last year’s World Championships.
The 20-year-old stumbled in Wednesday’s slalom but still managed to win her fourth gold on Sunday by clocking a combined time of 2:38.84 in the giant slalom standing class.
"I'm happy I had the chance to live all this,” she said. “But I'm also happy that this has come to an end because it has been an exhausting experience. I'm happy for all the medals I have won."
Bochet’s rival, Andrea Rothfuss of Germany, who won silver in the event four years ago in Vancouver, finished second with a time of 2:39.70.
After Rothfuss dropped a tough time of 1:14.34 in her second run and after Bochet stumbled a bit midcourse but still managed to hang on for a time of 1:13.86 in her second run.
"On the steep portion after the jump, I thought I was going to ski off,” she said. “I was really scared. It reminds me of the slalom. The second run has been tricky to the last gate. I didn't have a big advantage over Andrea.”
Bochet’s teammate, Solene Jambaque, was third with a time of 2:46.81.
In the women’s giant slalom visually impaired class, Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova (2:48.63) beat Russia’s Aleksandra Frantceva (2:54.91), while Australia’s Jessica Gallagher (3:02.11) was third.
Going into Sunday’s final day of competition, Frantceva had already won gold in slalom and super-combined, along with silver in super-G and bronze in downhill. She also won the giant slalom at the World Championships and the gold medal in Vancouver for years ago.
The German sit-skier is looking for another Paralympic title in the women's giant slalom.
"(Schaffelhuber) trains a lot in the summer, she wants it. She's my goal. She gives me a goal and I want to be as good as she is.”
It will be Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber, not France’s six-time world champion Marie Bochet, going for her fifth gold medal on the closing day of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in the women’s giant slalom.
The first runs will be at 9:30 (MSK) on Sunday (16 March) at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre while second runs will set off at 13:00 (MSK).
If the sit skier, Schaffelhuber, can win the women’s giant slalom on Sunday she would be the second straight woman to pull off five golds at a Winter Paralympics.
Canadian Lauren Woolstencroft won five gold medals on her home soil in Vancouver four years ago.
So far in Sochi, Schaffelhuber has won gold in downhill, super-G, slalom and super combined in the women's sitting class. She won the slalom after originally being disqualified in the first run of the event only to have that ruling overturned.
"It's one race now,” Schaffelhuber said on Friday after winning the slalom. “The slalom was very hard because of the snow for everyone."
On Sunday, Schaffelhuber will be contested by Austria’s Claudia Loesch, who is the reigning world champion in the event. Schaffelhuber was second at the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, Spain.
Her teammate, Anna-Lena Forster, will also be in contention after taking silver in the slalom.
"(Schaffelhuber) trains a lot in the summer, she wants it,” Forster said. “She's my goal. She gives me a goal and I want to be as good as she is.”
Bochet, who swept all five events at the World Championships, will be going for her fourth alpine gold medal at the Paralympics in the super slalom standing class on Sunday. She will once again be challenged by rival Andrea Rothfuss of Germany, who won silver in the event four years ago in Vancouver.
Aleksandra Frantceva of Russia, who has won gold in slalom and super combined, along with silver in super-G and bronze in downhill, will be the skier to beat in the women’s giant slalom visually impaired.
She won the event at the World Championships and the gold medal in Vancouver four years ago.
Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher, who was third in the giant slalom at the World Championships, will be the best hope to take down Frantceva.
Gallagher won Great Britain's first-ever Paralympic Winter Games gold medal on Monday after taking the women's visually impaired super-G. Along with guide Charlotte Evans, Gallagher will be rearing to go after failing to finish the super combined.
She already bounced back once in these games after finishing last in the downhill only to come back and win the super-G.
The world’s first ever female Paralympic snowboard gold medalist, Bibian Mentel-Spee, and inspirational Australian alpine skier Toby Kane will be presented with the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award at the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
I’m a very proud Paralympian
Snowboarding’s first ever female Paralympic champion, the Netherland’s Bibian Mentel-Spee and Australia’s super-combined bronze medalist Toby Kane, have been named as the winners of the prestigious Whang Youn Dai award for exemplifying the spirit of the Paralympic Games through their performances at Sochi 2014.
The athletes will receive the award during the Closing Ceremony on Sunday (16 March).
Mentel-Spee has been instrumental in getting snowboard into the Games for the first time in Sochi whilst Kane has taken on a key leadership role within the Australian team during several set-backs in the lead-up to Sochi.
Mentel-Spee spoke of her delight at receiving the honour:
“I am overwhelmed with the fact that I have received the award and after winning my gold medal yesterday, this is even better.”
Kane, 27, competes in the men’s standing classification in alpine skiing, which in Sochi has seen one of the most competitive fields ever head out on the slopes of Rosa Khutor:
“I feel very proud to have been nominated by my National Paralympic Committee and I feel very proud and humbled to be nominated for an award about the Paralympic spirit.
“I’m very proud to have gone to three Paralympic Games, I’m a very proud Paralympian and I really believe in sport for people with a disability in terms of what it can show the world.”
Kane and Mentel-Spee were selected from a shortlist of six nominees by an independent panel of judges consisting of International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board Members Andrew Parsons, Miguel Sagarra and Duane Kale. There were 25 nominations by National Paralympic Committee Presidents and Chef de Missions in total.
Parsons, the Vice President of the IPC, will present each athlete with a gold medal during the Closing Ceremony which has a theme of “reaching the impossible”.
The Whang Youn Dai Award has been presented to one male and one female athlete at every Paralympic Games since Seoul 1988, for overcoming adversity and putting the spirit of the Games into motion.
Mentel-Spee was a successful able-bodied snowboarder well on her way to qualifying for Salt Lake City 2002 before losing her leg to cancer at the age of 27. Four months after the operation, the 41 year-old was back on her board, becoming Dutch national champion just seven months later.
In addition to her life as an athlete, Mentel-Spee was an integral part of the group of snowboarders who campaigned to include snowboard as a sport at the Paralympic Winter Games. The Dutch rider is also a mother and founder of the Mentelity Foundation which aims to get young people with impairments into sport and has started a snowboard team for athletes between the ages of 14-23.
On Friday 14 March 2014, Mentel-Spee became the first ever female snowboarding gold medalist at a Paralympic Winter Games.
Kane has been skiing since he was five-years-old following a car accident which led to the amputation of his lower right leg at just the age of two. He was talent spotted at the age of 10 and became a regular in the Australian Paralympic team by 17.
He is studying medicine, following on from his experiences with healthcare in his early life, and is an ambassador for the Australian Paralympic Committee, giving talks and assisting with raising the profile of the Paralympic Movement in Australia.
Since the death of snowboarder teammate Matthew Robinson in February 2014 and other set-backs which have affected the team, Kane has stepped into a key leadership and support role in addition to focusing on his own competition.