About Para-Alpine Skiing
Para-alpine skiing competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke. The Ontario Para-Alpine Ski Team’s goal is to Educate, Promote and Train Disabled ski racing in Ontario, Canada. As members, we train and compete together to promote para-alpine ski racing locally, provincially, nationally & internationally.
B1 – Totally blind (no sight)
B2 – Partially sighted (visual acuity of 20/60 – limited sight)
B3 – Partially sighted (visual acuity above 20/60 to 6/60 – more sight than B2)
In all visually impaired classes, a guide is mandatory; the competitor and the guide are a team. Blind skiers are directed down the course by guides skiing in front using only voice signals or radio communication.
No physical contact between the guide and competitor is allowed during the race. The distance between guide and athlete in technical events (slalom and giant slalom) must not exceed two direction changes, and in speed events (downhill and super-G) must not exceed one direction change.
In partially sighted classes (B2 and B3), the guide must ski in front of the athlete. For totally blind classes (B1), the guide can ski either in front of or behind the athlete.
All competitors in the completely blind class (B1) must wear approved blacked-out goggles during the competition.
LW1 – double above-knee amputees
LW2 – outrigger skiers
LW3 – double below-knee amputees
LW4 – skiers with a prosthesis
LW5/7 – skiers without poles
LW6/8 – skiers with one pole
LW9 – disability of arm and leg
Athletes in certain classifications (for example, single-leg amputees who ski without a prosthesis and sit-ski users) use special poles called outriggers. Outriggers have short ski blades on the end and help the skier with balance.
LW10 – mono skiers (high degree of paraplegia, no muscles in the lower body)
LW11 – mono skiers (lower degree of paraplegia, with muscles in the lower body)
LW12 – mono skiers (lower degree of paraplegia, lower incomplete paralysis)
Some athletes with a physical disability compete from a sitting position using a sit-ski, also called a mono-ski. As the name suggests, mono-skis have a specially fitted chair over a single ski. The chair includes seat belts and other strapping, as well as a suspension device to minimize wear and tear on the skier’s body.
Downhill: Skiers are timed as they race down a long, steep course that may include turns and jumps. They must pass through a few gates that are used as checkpoints. The penalty for missing a gate is a disqualification. Each athlete is allowed only one run down the course. The athlete’s time determines the order of finish.
Super-G: Super giant slalom (or super-G) combines the speed of downhill with the turns of giant slalom. Like downhill, it is considered a speed event where racers take one run down the course. The athlete’s time determines the order of finish.
Slalom: Slalom is a technical event. The course is shorter than other alpine skiing events and has a high number of gates (55-75 gates on a men’s course and 40-60 on a women’s course). The penalty for missing a gate is a disqualification. Each athlete completes two runs on the same day on different courses. Times from the two courses are added to determine the order of finish.
Giant slalom: The giant slalom is also a technical event. In comparison to the slalom, the course is longer, there are fewer turns and the turns are wider and smoother. The number of gates is determined by the vertical drop and the penalty for missing a gate is a disqualification. Each athlete completes two runs on the same day on different courses. Times from the two courses are added to determine the order of finish.
Super combined: The super combined event is a combination of one run of a speed event and one run of slalom. Athletes’ combined times determine the order of finish.
For more information please contact the OPAST coaches Gwen Binsfeld and/or Sandy Nattrass at [email protected].
Vision: Promote enjoyment and excellence in Para- alpine ski racing.
Core Values: Excellence, Passion, Competition, Confidence, Fun, Sportsmanship, Fair Play all while encouraging dreams of becoming a top competitive athlete.
Mission Statement: To provide leadership and structure for high quality, sustainable and affordable programming, and communicate the competitive, recreational and lifestyle benefits of ski racing to the community.