Vail’s Thomas Walsh gets ready for speed events at Worlds
With a bronze medal already under his belt, Vail’s Thomas Walsh is looking for more medals at the 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships, which started this week in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, and move to Sella Nevea, Italy, for the speed events.
Vail’s Walsh won the bronze medal in Monday’s giant slalom in the men’s standing division.
“I’m really happy about my results. It was a challenging course, but I really love Kranjska Gora,” Walsh said. “It’s where I earned my first World Cup medal and a few more since then, and I couldn’t be happier with finishing third in the giant slalom.”
Walsh is no stranger to elite competition, having finished fifth at the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, last winter. He also had two podiums — both second-place finishes on the Para Alpine Skiing World Cup — in slaloms in Zagreb, Croatia, earlier this month.
More to come
But competing at the World Championships and making the podium are experiences to savor.
“This is my first major competition medal and I couldn’t be happier with it knowing it was on this hill and in giant slalom, which is my favorite event and one of my stronger disciplines,” Walsh said. “I’ve really worked hard to get to this point and to be up there on the podium with all those guys who have made major waves in the circuit and have medaled at the games. It really gives me some confidence to know that I’m up there on the same level as them.”
And yes, he is already looking forward to the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. Yet, there is still business on tap. The World Championships continue with the downhill on Tuesday, followed by the super combined on Thursday and super-G on Friday.
“Looking forward, I’m excited for the speed races to come,” Walsh said. “I’ve been putting in a lot of effort and training this summer at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, as well as at on-snow camps. I’m really trying to improve a lot of technique and fundamentals within my skiing in addition to strength and conditioning.”
Walsh grew up in Vail, competing for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, and was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2009.