Saturday, January 27, 2007

Exciting finish for visually impaired man

Chris Williamson of Markham, Ont., and his substitute guide Erik Petersen of the United States, raced to the gold medal in the men's slalom for the visually impaired at the Para-Alpine World Cup for alpine skiers with a disability.

Calgary's Lauren Woolstencroft added gold in the women's standing competition and Kathleen Forestell of Ottawa was second in the women's visually impaired race.

In the men's visually impaired, Williamson and Petersen finished ahead of Gianmaria Dal Maistro of Italy in second and Jon Santacana of Spain in third.

Petersen hooked up with Williamson for Friday's giant slalom and the pair placed third. A.J. Brown of Peterborough, Ont., in his first season as Williamson's full-time guide, crashed in Thursday's first GS and suffered a concussion.

"It went very well, Erik did a great job," said Williamson who also won the two Super G races with Brown on Wednesday. "It was a very close race after the first run but we made the necessary adjustments and dominated the second. Racing that GS yesterday also really helped us get acclimatized to each other."

Added Petersen: "I saw Chris race at the Nor-Ams last week and I knew he was a very strong skier. My biggest worry was whether he would run me over. When I heard he needed help I was eager to get involved. I wanted to do it, to help my sport. At Winter Park we run a program that attracts athletes from all over the world."

Woolstencroft earned her fourth medal and third gold of the competition finishing ahead of Sandy Dukat of the U.S., in second and Andrea Rothfuss of Germany in third. Andrea Dziewior of Nanaimo, B.C., was sixth.


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