On March, 11, the final of the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals were brought to a close at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center in Sochi. The event was the second Paralympic competition to take place during the Sochi 2014 international Test Events season.
Competitions took place between 6th and 11th March in a range of the alpine skiing events that are part of the Paralympic program, including the downhill and the slalom.
Around 120 top Paralympic skiers from 20 countries gathered at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, including the recently-crowned champions from the IPC Alpine Skiing World Championship, which took place on February 27 in La Molina, Spain: Marie Bochet (France), Alexandra Frantseva (Russia), Jon Santacana (Spain), Claudia Loesch (Austria) and Taiki Morii (Japan).
At the conclusion of the competition, the Cup of Nations – which is decided based on the overall performance of all the athletes representing a particular country - was awarded to the Russian team. Russian skiers also came top in the overall World Cup rankings. Aleksei Bugaev won the men's event (athletes with an impaired musculo-skeletal system, competing in a standing position), and Alexandra Frantseva won the ladies' event (athletes with impaired vision).
Alexandra Frantseva, Russia, said:
"The city is ready to host the Games. You can see this during the test events through the condition of the track and both the level and quality of the snow. The weather conditions have been really good for competing, the track is challenging, especially the downhill piste, but it's really exciting - especially the land relief. The jumps and tricky turns are really enjoyable, they provide a real adrenaline rush!"
Anna Shaffelhuber, Germany, said:
"Sochi is a fascinating city, I really liked the warm welcome we received and how kind and helpful the volunteers were throughout our entire visit. It's my first time in Sochi, but it is very clear the Games organisers are doing everything possible to host the best ever Olympic and Paralympic Games, so I can't wait to come back to Sochi in 2014."
Georg Kreiter, Germany, said:
"The track is unusual, but I really enjoyed its challenges. As for Sochi itself, I can clearly see the importance being placed on the Paralympic Games given the serious efforts being put into the preparations for the Games. I think everything is going to be great at the Games."
Notes to the editor
The Rosa Khutor Alpine Center is going to host competitions in all of the alpine skiing disciplines. The Olympic alpine skiing pistes and tracks have a combined length of 20 km.
Rosa Khutor is a unique alpine skiing resort situated in Krasnaya Polyana. It takes its name from the Rosa Khutor plateau, which covers some 1820 ha. of slopes on the ridge of Mount Aibga, at the base of which flows the Mzymta River.