New Zealand Paralympians get their skis on
Vancouver gold medallist Adam Hall is confident he’s done all he can to prepare for another chance at glory as the Sochi Paralympics get under way.
Hall, who won gold in the slalom four years ago, and fellow alpine skier Corey Peters take on the first of their six disciplines tomorrow night with the Super G.
‘‘We’ve worked extremely hard, we’ve showed up here in Sochi and there’s really not much more we can do,’’ Hall told Fairfax Media last night.
‘‘We’ve prepared the best we can for the Games and the results will reflect the hard work we’ve put in. We came here to win medals and get on the podium and we are biting at the bit at getting into the comp.’’
As they were during the Winter Olympics last month, conditions in Sochi remain one of the main talking points, but it’s also something the New Zealand team have prepared well for.
‘‘We were here this time last season for the test event,’’ said Hall, who will be competing at his third Winter Paralympics.
‘‘We were here to check out the venue and the conditions and the likelihood of what the conditions could be. We went away and trained in every kind of conditions we could think of because it could be from one end of the spectrum to the other – it could be really hard or it could be really soft.
‘‘We’ve spent two days on the snow in training. The first day it was quite soft and yesterday it froze and it was really great.’’
Support from home for the New Zealand team, which also includes snowboarder Carl Murphy, had been strong, Hall said.
‘‘We have a little noticeboard in our room in the village and to have that support coming in is absolutely amazing. Obviously that’s why we are here, to represent our country to the best of our ability and to punch well above our weight as a country, which is how we always do in sport, I believe.’’
Hall, who was the flagbearer for the New Zealand team at the Sochi opening ceremony this morning, said the way Paralympic sport was viewed by the media and public had developed during his time in the sport.
‘‘In general, [recognition of] Paralympic sport is changing slowly, but it’s progressed really well over the years in a positive way and it’s more accepted both in the mainstream against Olympians and peers who don’t have disabilities.
‘‘To have sporting organisations combining able-bodied athletes with adaptive athletes is a move in the right direction. It’s about seeing athletes as just another athlete, whether they have a disability or not.’’
Of these accolades, which would you like to win most?