Canada’s Kimberly Joines crashed out of the women’s sitting giant slalom on Sunday in the final event of the Sochi Paralympics, a heartbreaking turn of events after she led heading into the second run.
Joines, of Rossland, B.C., turned in a solid first run in bumpy conditions on the slopes to lead German Anna Schaffelhuber by a large margin of 1.16 seconds.
But disaster struck Joines early in her second and final run, as she went too wide on one of her turns and couldn’t get back on the course, losing an edge and crashing out.
Schaffelhuber won the title in a time of two minutes, 51.26 seconds, and become only the second athlete in history to sweep the alpine events at the Paralympics. Canadian Lauren Woolstencroft is the other skier to accomplish the feat, done in 2010.
Austrian Claudia Loesch took silver, while Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster took the bronze medal.
Joines will still leave Sochi with a bronze medal in the slalom on Wednesday. It was originally silver, but a disqualification of Schaffelhuber was overturned by a Paralympic jury after an appeal, awarding her the gold.
The weather warmed up to above freezing in Sochi on Sunday, and with it came more of the difficult course conditions that has plagued the mountain cluster for most of the games, with choppy and icy snow making for a challenging run down the course.
Bochet wins more gold
France’s Marie Bochet won her fourth gold of the Games in the women’s standing classification. She led by a mere 0.38 seconds over Andrea Rothfuss of Germany after her first run and nearly crashed in her second, but ended up taking the title by 0.86 seconds. French teammate Solene Jambaque won bronze, at 7.97 seconds back she was well behind the pair.
The top Canadian was Erin Latimer of Toronto in ninth, and right behind her in tenth was Calgary’s Alexandra Starker. Fellow Calgerian Alana Ramsay was 16th after her first run but had a minor crash on her second and suffered a DNF.
Bochet won titles in the downhill, super combined, and super-G as well in Sochi, only missing out on a medal in the slalom when she crashed on the first run of the event.
Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia won the women’s visually impaired category by a large margin, 6.28 seconds ahead of silver-medallist Aleksandra Frantceva of Russia. British skier Jessica Gallagher won bronze.