PARA-ALPINE

skier Mitch Gour­ley had a stand­out sea­son with a num­ber of podium finishes.

Alpine News - - Contents -

AUS­TRALIAN para-alpine skier Mitch Gour­ley fin­ished the World Cup sea­son on a high, plac­ing third on the over­all rank­ings.

A suc­cess­ful run of events over the 2015/16 sea­son saw him on the podium nine times.

Gour­ley who hails from Gee­long, was born a con­gen­i­tal arm am­putee be­low the el­bow and com­petes in men’s stand­ing para-alpine events.

A dual Par­a­lympian, Gour­ley went into the World Cup sea­son with goals of be­ing a more con­sis­tent per­former in the speed dis­ci­plines and to win a medal in Down­hill.

This goal was achieved when he took sil­ver at the World Cup at the ski re­sort of Tignes in France at the end of Jan­uary.

“That was a huge day for me in Tignes,” Gour­ley said.

“It’s not easy to be a four- event skier from Aus­tralia as train­ing op­tions are al­ways thin and you’ve got to call in a lot of favours.

“I think I came last in my first ever World Cup Down­hill race, so it was a long road,” Gour­ley said.

Gour­ley went on to win sil­ver in Down­hill again at the fi­nal World Cup of the sea­son in Aspen, fin­ish­ing the sea­son sec­ond over­all in the dis­ci­pline.

The 24-year-old said that this was his big­gest achieve­ment of the sea­son.

“Get­ting on the podium a cou­ple times and sec­ond in the dis­ci­pline ti­tle was pretty un­ex­pected for a lot of peo­ple and some­thing I’m re­ally proud of.”

Af­ter strug­gling with form over the last few years, Gour­ley’s hard work and per­sis­tence has paid off.

Gour­ley will now en­joy some well-earned rest in Canada be­fore re­turn­ing to Aus­tralia in the mid­dle of the year for the do­mes­tic sea­son.

Man­aged by the Aus­tralian Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee since 1994, Ski and Snow­board Aus­tralia took car­riage of the para-win­ter sports pro­gram in Novem­ber 2015.

PHOTO: Mar­cus Hartmann

PHOTO: Ski and Snow­board Aus­tralia

SIL­VER: Para-alpine skier Mitch Gour­ley had a stel­lar sea­son and took the sil­ver in the Down­hill at Tignes, France at the end of Jan­uary.

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