Kurka named to U.S. National Team [Skiing]

July 27, 2013

Andrew Kurka

Already a rising star in American skiing, Andrew Kurka of Palmer now has his sights on something bigger.

“I have my eye on the World Cup this year,” Kurka told me.

The 21-year-old will get that chance after he was named to the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team for the 2013-14 season, which begins Aug. 22 with the World Cup opener in New Zealand.

Kurka, of Challenge Alaska fame, is the only Alaskan on the national team.

“It’s a huge honor,” he said. “Alaska’s the little piece of America and it’s my dream to represent. I’m hoping to one day only be sponsored by Alaska based businesses.”

Kurka last year competed in several marquee events and he “managed to place rather high in a few national competitions pretty consistently,” he said.

There’s not much this kid can’t do.

He’s an accomplished weightlifter, winning a title at age 17. And earlier this year he won first a race among adaptive skiers at the Arctic Man, an annual ski and snowmachine race in the Hoodoo Mountains.

Now he’s a member of the U.S. National Team.

“I have been increasing my performance the last few years and had a very successful beginning of my last season,” Kurka said. “I want to make myself known on the World Cup and Europa Cup circuits. Hoping to make an impact and help some beginner skier as well. I’m looking forward to skiing with the next generation.”