action:article | category:SPORTS26 | adString:SPORTS26 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Olympics

March 06. 2014 10:41PM

Cannon Mountain skiers head to Paralympics


Chris Devlin-Young, of Bethlehem, poses slopeside on March 5 in Sochi, Russia where he will be competing in the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games. Devlin-Young, who is 52, will be competing in four alpine sitting disciplines; his competitors will include Tyler Walker, 27, of Franconia, who is a fellow skier from Cannon Mountain and who was once coached by Devlin-Young. (Courtesy)

FRANCONIA — Two alpine skiers from Cannon Mountain, Chris Devlin-Young and Tyler Walker, were once coach and protégé and now are teammates and competitors at the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The games commence with an opening ceremony that will be shown live today on NBCSN and rebroadcast at 1 p.m. Saturday on NBC. Also Saturday, shown live at 1 a.m. on NBCSN will be the first of the four contests featuring Devlin-Young and Walker.

A resident of Bethlehem, Devlin-Young, 52, is, according to TeamUSA.org, the most experienced of the alpine athletes, having qualified for seven games and competed in five of them.

Devlin-Young was paralyzed from the knees down and partially paralyzed below his waist following a plane crash in 1982 while he was serving in Alaska with the U.S. Coast Guard.

One of four current alpine Paralympians who served their country, Devlin-Young won a gold medal in slalom in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway, and a gold medal in 2002 in Salt Lake City in Super G where he also won a silver medal in downhill as a mono-skier. Devlin-Young won a silver at Torino, Italy, in 2006.

Devlin-Young said via email that though these are his fifth Paralympics, “I am just as proud and excited now as I was the first time representing my country. I will enter this race like any other I have done. Focus on the process, get a good course inspection, warm up like always, relax in the start area and turn on full race mode as I go through the start wand.”

At Sochi, Devlin-Young will compete in the men’s sitting class versus a field that includes Walker, 27. Last month, Walker, a 2004 graduate of Bethlehem’s Profile High and a 2008 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, won the overall championship in the men’s sitting class at the International Paralympic Committee Alpine World Cup Final in Tarvisio, Italy.

Katie Branham, assistant communication manager for the U.S. Paralympics, said the men will compete in the downhill, Super G, slalom and super combined; Walker is also entered in the giant slalom.

As for going head-to-head with Walker, Devlin-Young said, “Tyler and I are the best of friends. I am very proud of the phenomenal athlete he has become and honored to be representing the United States of America with him and all my Paralympic teammates.”

Walker, born with lumbar sacral agenesis, had both legs amputated at the knees when he was 4.

Although he’s among the most mature members of the U.S. Paralympic team — the oldest is alpine skier Mark Bathum of Mercer Island, Wash., who is 55 — Devlin-Young doesn’t see age as an impediment.

“To remain at the top of any sport takes commitment and talent, I have been blessed with both. The gift of skiing was given to me 30 years ago, and I feel everyday that I must give that gift to those around me and all those who have not found Paralympic alpine skiing. Helping my teammates and coaching newer athletes keeps me young. Winning helps, too.”

A World Cup champion and a 10-time U.S. national champion, Devlin-Young founded and operated the New England Adaptive Ski Team at Loon Mountain with his wife, Donna.

Devlin-Young thanked his family, especially his wife, as well as his many supporters, adding he’s proud to represent his country and New Hampshire, which has been his adopted home for 17 years.

He said that he was also honored to represent Adaptive Sports Partners at Cannon, of which he was named ski ambassador “to the world community. I love living in New Hampshire, and if you can ski Cannon, you can anywhere!”

jkoziol@newstote.com


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Sudanese runner with NH ties hoping to crowdfund way to 2016 Olympics

Former Wildcat van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

Monadnock Speedway driver captures first Granite State NASCAR title

CASEY DeSMITH

Star goaltender DeSmith no longer on NH roster after assault charge

UNH squad practices without helmets, shoulder pads to reduce risk of head trauma

24 Hours Of LeMons: This Time We Went Fast, Briefly

NHRA president Tom Compton candid on series and its challenges

World's tallest pro basketball player is from Strafford, NH

NH-based hockey helmet maker Bauer to drop concussion protection claims

NH native's statistics help Padres win

UNH receives NFL funding for brain injury research

Olympic skier Krass helps Hanover High clinch soccer championship

'100: Head/Heart/Feet' film follows NH man in grueling world of ultra-running

Athletic director says no one injured in disturbance after Keene High football game

Fishers Cats extend agreement with Toronto Blue Jays through 2018

24 Hours of LeMons New England: The winners!

Kings use emergency-roster exemption before facing Penguins

NH man beat out 75,000 competitors to win $1M in fantasy football contest

Video: Exact moment NH man wins a million dollars on DraftKings

That 70s Line continues to work magic as L.A. Kings win sixth straight

N.H. Motor Speedway to become home of North East Motor Sports Museum

Keene pumpkin riot probe turns to technology inspired by Boston Marathon bombing

Riverside Speedway in Groveton on auction block Nov. 1

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!