Kurka, Tompkins named to U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team
You can add two more names to the list of Alaska Olympians.
Mono-skiers Andrew Kurka of Palmer and Joe Tompkins of Juneau today were named to the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Team that will compete at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in March.
Kurka, of Challenge Alaska fame, is currently representing Uncle Sam on the World Cup circuit and just finished fifth in a downhill race in France.
“I personally could not be more proud to be representing my country and my sponsors around the world,” Kurka said in an email. “For the next few days most of the team will be training with the Paralympic Development Program out of Aspen [CO] then competing in U.S. Speed Nationals before most of the team heads to Treviso, Italy, for World Cup Finals just before the moment we have all been waiting for, Sochi.”
Last month, the 21-year-old won a gold medal in the men’s sitting division at the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing World Cup in British Columbia.
Tompkins, 45, will be making his fourth appearance at the Olympics.
He previously competed at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, 2006 Turin Games and 2010 Vancouver Games.
He has been close to a medal, finishing sixth in the downhill and super-G in 2002. Four years later he was in gold-medal before a crash took him out of the competition.