Thomas Walsh podiums at St. Moritz Para Alpine Skiing World Cup, Radamus nabs another top 10 in Alta Badia
Walsh also finished 4th in GS on Friday and 5th in GS Saturday
2018 Paralympian Thomas Walsh captured a podium spot with his third place slalom finish on Monday at the St. Moritz Para Alpine Skiing World Cup.
“It might not be about the results at this point in my progression, however, it’s nice to be rewarded a little for my hard work thus far,” the 26-year old wrote on his Facebook page after the event.
“I sure am happy that I’m headed in the right direction!”
It was the first major para alpine competition since the 2019 World Championships in Sella Nevea, Italy, where Walsh won two bronze medals. At the Birds of Prey World Cup event in Beaver Creek earlier this month, NBC captured an emotional moment wherein Walsh gave Steve Nyman his 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic bib. The gesture was in response to Nyman having gifted his 2006 Torino bib to Walsh while he battled cancer in the hospital in 2009.
“This bib carried me through a lot, and I don’t know if you know the impact that it had on me,” Walsh said to a teary-eyed Nyman at the base of Beaver Creek on that Dec. 4 afternoon.
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On Friday and Sunday, Walsh finished fourth and fifth in consecutive giant slalom contests.
“Nothing but smiles for allowing myself to trust and follow the process,” Walsh wrote on his social media site after the first two days.
“The turns are shaping up, the skiing is looking better, and I am making the right steps to greatly improve. The results will come but for the time being I’m just keeping to the path and trusting my coaches, my training, and my ability.”
Walsh, who at the last published available World Para Alpine Ski rankings was fifth in giant slalom standing and ninth overall in slalom standing, will contest a slalom today (Dec. 21). Outside of his athletics, the Savannah College of Art and Design graduate balances his pursuit of a second paralympic team with a wide-ranging artistic streak that includes singing, dancing, and instrumental performance, all of which was recently featured in a piece by Al Daniel on the Team USA website. In the piece, Daniel notes that Walsh equates skiing to “painting a canvas.”
The Winter Paralympics are Mar. 4 – Mar. 13 in Beijing.
River Radamus nabs another top 10 in Alta Badia GS
In the longest giant slalom on the World Cup circuit, Edwards native River Radamus demonstrated his consistency, posting a top 10 performance one day after a career-tying best sixth place finish — both in giant slalom races — at the Alta Badia (Italy) FIS event. Marco Odermatt of Switzerland easily won the race, defeating local hero Luca De Aliprandini by over a second. Rounding out the podium was the German Alexander Schmid, who made his first podium appearance ever.
A few minor errors pushed the 23-year old from the eighth position into 10th, where he finished the day.
“I made mistakes early—cost myself my time up there,” he told U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s Courtney Harkins.
“But I fought like hell. I fought really hard and just wanted to keep my skis in the fall line. I did a good job with my approach. There are some turns that I want back but I’m psyched with how I went at it today.”
Radamus’ two-day results are starting to garner attention from Bejing prognosticators. The Ski and Snowboard Club Vail product might have a shot at a medal come February.
“It’s the shadow that’s looming over everybody; you can’t not think about it,” Radamus told U.S. Ski and Snowboard, echoing the “focus-on-what-you-can-control” mindset he touched on earlier this month during his interview with Vail Daily Live.
“I’ve never been to the Olympics,” Radamus said to U.S. Ski and Snowboard on Monday.
“I think I’m in a good position to go this year, but I need to focus on my approach and focus on the things I can control. I think my skiing is going in the right direction because I’m doing that and so I’m going to keep that up and hopefully can bring the momentum into the Olympic Games. I’ll focus on the process instead of the outcome and the outcome will be there if I do that.”
While the speed specialists are off over the holidays, the slalom skiers will remain busy, with the Madonna di Campiglio night slalom in Italy on Wednesday. On the women’s side, the World Cup contests two giant slaloms in Courchevel, France on Tuesday and Wednesday.