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.

Jason Saltmarsh: Runners should never have to pay for their race photos

Ex-official pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Pembroke football nonprofit

Former New Hampshire goalie DeSmith tells his side of arrest, dismissal from team

NH hockey team moving to Maine could be worth at least $1 million in economic activity say city officials

New owners of Claremont plan to put speedway back on track

Speedway in Claremont bought for nearly $519,000

Lebanon marathoner qualifies for US Olympic Trials

Matt Bonner talks about the end of the run, making the simple play, and playing until he's 40

Ex-UNH goalie agrees to diversion,receive counseling, avoids jail

Wildcats will face Chattanooga in prime time

New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies teaches supporters how to believe

Helmetless Football? Its the new practice at UNH

CASEY DeSMITH

DeSmith officially dismissed from New Hampshire team, but can return to class as of Dec. 20

San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15), of Concord, N.H., shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) during the second half at TD Garden.

Rapper Lil B gives shoutout to…Matt Bonner?

Manchester Central's Tyler Stratton watches his shot get by Spaulding High School (Rochester) goalie Derek Scott during a shootout at the 2012 Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic hosted at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

VFW downsizing threatens Spaulding hockey due to loss of venue for Bingo fundraisers

Eagles notes: Kelly committed to current job

5 face riot charges in beating incident at football game

Ayotte rips top sports league commissioners for snubbing hearing on domestic violence

Manchester Monarchs sign Josh Gratton to AHL contract

Can football without helmets lead to fewer concussions?

Trial date set for former UNH hockey coach accused of assaulting player

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!