On the 6th March 2013, the International Paralympic Committee's test tournament in Snowboard Cross came to an end at the "Rosa Khutor" Extreme Park. The tournament was the second international Paralympic test event to take place in Sochi this season. The event took place ahead of the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup finals at the "Rosa Khutor" Alpine Center with One Year to Go until the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Para-Snowboard will make its debut at the Paralympic Games in 2014 as part of the alpine skiing program. The Snowboard Cross tournament in Sochi was the first Test Event in this sport. 25 snowboarders from 11 different countries took part in the event. The athletes all received a warm welcome from more than 70 representatives of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee who were working at the event.
In the ladies' event for those with lower limb impairment, the winner was 40-year-old Bibian Mentel from the Netherlands, who finished 18 seconds ahead of Amy Purdy from the USA over three runs, and more than a minute ahead of two of her fellow countrymen (Ilse van Rhenen came third).
In the men's event in the same category, the top two snowboarders were both from the USA – Evan Strong and Michael Shea, whilst the bronze went to Carl Murphy from New Zealand. The top-placed Russian was Serafim Pikalov, who came tenth.
Snowboard Cross events for those in the upper limb impairment races are not part of the program for the Paralympic Winter Games, but three competitors nonetheless attended the tournament in Sochi – all of whom were Italian. Sara Dorigatti was the only competitor in the ladies' runs, whilst in the men's event Roberto Cavicchi finished just under a second ahead of David Preziosi.
Bibian Mentel (the Netherlands): "Rosa Khutor looks nice, everything is really well organized, and I am happy to be here. I am stoke that para-snowboard will be part of the Paralympic Games."
Amy Purdy (USA): "Sochi is beautiful, snow is awesome on top, the people are really nice. My goal is to come back here for Paralympics and win not just a medal but gold."
Sara Dorigatti (Italy): "This is a very good place – ideal for tourism and staging the Games. I think Sochi has a good future."
Notes to the editor
The "Rosa Khutor" Extreme Park is situated to the west of the plateau of the same name. The unique snow conditions, combined with special pistes for ski cross, aerial skiing, mogul, snowboard cross, parallel giant slalom and half-pipe, will make this facility a permanent venue for top-level international tournaments.
The Extreme Park is located at an altitude of 1100-1200 m above sea-level. 6 pistes with a total length of approximately 3.5 km have been constructed for speed sliding and freestyle on the Aibga slope. The start points are located at heights of 1230-1070 m above sea-level, and the vertical drop is 215 m. The pistes have been specially designed for jumps, turns, spins, flips and "grabs" of varying degrees of complexity.