Kurka double medals in downhill at Para-Alpine World Cup

January 13, 2017

Andrew Kurka handcycle

Andrew Kurka

Para-alpine skier Andrew Kurka of Palmer proved he’s still got it.

The 24-year-old picked up a pair of medals and beat a world champion in the first World Cup downhill races of the season in Austria.

Kurka, of Colony High fame, placed second to New Zealand’s world champion Corey Peters in the first men’s sitting race, but Kurka came back to win the second race after Peters failed to finish his run.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to really show up to the first speed World Cup of the season,” Kurka told me. “Earlier in the year at the first tech races I had some equipment issues and shock troubles on my mono ski. Once I got them resolved I knew I would be on the podium with the results of my training.”

The downhill races were originally scheduled on back-to-back days but pending weather forced the races to be held within a few hours of each other.

Kurka was prepared thanks to his tireless training and dedication to the sport.

“Keeping an open mind and being willing to learn even when things don’t go well helped me implement success at the next turn,” he said.

Staying in his Tessier adaptive seat and on his Volkl 218 skis also made a big difference for Kurka.

In a sport where success is separated by hundredths of a second, there’s a fine line between going from broke and not crashing.

“The fine line is something that is ever changing with ski racing. Experience and knowledge plays a big part into it,” Kurka said. “A big contribution to my success is the coaching staff of the US Para-Alpine team that’s helped me direct my abilities through my career and guide to me to continued success.”