Kurka wants to gear down but not necessarily slow down

December 27, 2015

Andrew Kurka SkiingHe’s only 23, but Andrew Kurka of Palmer has put his body through hell.

Three times he has broken his back, most recently during a training run for the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

His go-for-broke mentality on the ski slopes has paid dividends, yet he’s paid the price as Kurka is yet to complete a ski season without breaking a bone in his body.

“I like going fast,” he has said many times before.

These days, though, Kurka is looking to come off the gas pedal.

He wants to gear down but not necessarily slow down. It’s a fine line, but he is looking at the big picture and prolonging his promising adaptive ski career.

“I get injured a lot and much of that is bad luck, happenstance and a lot of stupidity by me,” he told paralympic.org. “If I can decrease the stupidity and my gung-ho attitude, I can get some more finishes out of it.”

When he does stay on his skis Kurka has proven to be the real deal.

The Alaskan is coming off his first World Championships, where he claimed a bronze medal in the super-G. Last season he won his first World Cup downhill race.

He ultimately wants to claim gold at the 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympic Games.

“My goal is to ultimately be the best in the world and a Paralympic champion,” he said.

But you can’t win if you don’t finish.