A first-time Paralympian in Sochi, sit-skier Kurt Oatway won a bronze medal in slalom in his
first ever World Cup para-alpine skiing competition held in New Zealand, which launched the 2013-14 season. A few days later he added a fourth in the super-G.
In January 2014, Oatway’s success continued with a fourth place in the downhill at the World Cup in Panorama, B.C. At the Sochi Paralympic Games he is scheduled to compete in slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill.
Oatway has been alpine skiing since he was five years old and started sit skiing in 2010 after an accident. In September 2007, while on a university field trip studying sedimentary environments in Utah, Oatway was injured in a fall. He fell 12 metres from a rock outcrop suffering a radial compression fracture of the T12 vertebra which resulted in an incomplete spinal cord injury.
It was while watching the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver that Oatway realized that he needed to start alpine skiing again. His first foray into the sport in the sit ski was at Mission Ridge Ski Hill in the Qu’Appelle Valley outside of Regina, in March 2010.
Oatway, who was born in Edmonton, studied geology at Mount Royal College in Calgary and the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. He graduated in 2010 from the U of S with a Bachelor of Science majoring in geology. He has a keen interest in sedimentary and hard rock geology and hopes to pursue a professional career in that area.
(Courtesy Canadian Paralympic Committee)