Grand County athletes return home as Paralympic Games conclude; part-time local resident captures gold in men’s slalom
Two full-time Grand County residents have landed back on American soil after a fierce competition throughout most of the month at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Jasmin Bambur and Joy Rondeau, both of Granby, joined athletes from around the globe, including several other athletes who have trained with the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, to complete their final races and events on the snow and ice before closing ceremonies were held March 18.
The event featured hundreds of competitors from throughout the world including 68 athletes competing on Team USA.
Bambur, who is paralyzed from the waist down, was fairly busy during the quadrennial athletic competition with scheduled races on four days out of 10. His first event of the 2018 Paralympics was the Men’s Super-G sitting, held March 11. He completed his first heat in 5.49, but did not complete his final two heats.
The Granby athlete’s second event, the Men’s Super Combined Slalom sitting, brought better results as he finished in 12th place for the event, held March 13. Bambur finished his two runs for the event with a combined time of 2:25.22.
Bambur went on to be officially listed as a competitor in two other events during the games, the Men’s Giant Slalom on March 14 and the Men’s Slalom on March 17 though the 38-year-old did not receive an official place in either event. Bambur completed his first run of the Giant Slalom event with a time of 1:13.52, but received no official time for his second run.
Middle Park resident Joy Rondeau, who suffers from a disease similar to cerebral palsy, also represented the United States at the Paralympic games this year competing in the biathlon as well as two cross-country skiing events. Her first competition of the games was March 10 for the women’s six-kilometer biathlon, for which she took 14th place overall and finished with no missed shots and an official time of 27:49.4.
On March 14, Rondeau competed in the qualification round of the Women’s Cross-Country Sprint sitting event. She completed the 1.1-kilometer course in 23rd place with a time of 4:31.12. She did not advance out of the qualification round for the event.
Rondeau’s final event of the Paralympics was the Women’s five-kilometer sitting. She completed the course with an official time of 21:55.1, which secured her a 19th place finish in the field.
There were 10 other athletes connected with the National Sports Center for the Disabled, which is based in Winter Park, who competed in the Paralympics this year, including five other Team USA competitors and five athletes representing either New Zealand or Chile.
Grand County property owner Adam Hall had an outstanding showing at the games representing his own country of New Zealand.
Hall, who lives in Winter Park six months a year while spending the last 14 years skiing with the NSCD, is heading home with two medals and the prestigious Whang Yuon Dai Achievement Award, presented to one male and one female athlete at each Paralympics who exemplify the spirit of the Paralympics.
Hall took gold in the Men’s Slalom standing and bronze in the Men’s Super Combined Slalom standing.
His fellow Kiwi, Corey Peters, also medaled at the games, taking home a bronze for his efforts in the Men’s Downhill sitting.
Among the five other NSCD American competitors were three men and two women.
Tyler Carter took 19th in the Men’s Slalom standing while Spencer Wood finished 25th in the Men’s Giant Slalom standing. Thomas Walsh was busy throughout the games, competing in four different events. He took fifth in the Men’s Slalom standing, seventh in the Men’s Giant Slalom standing and 13th in the Men’s Super-G.
Danelle Umsted and Allison Kunkel also represented Team USA at the games in the women’s division with both ladies competing in five different events. Umsted, who is visually impaired, finished sixth in the Women’s Super-G, eighth in the Women’s Super Combine Slalom and eighth in the Women’s Giant Slalom. Kunkel had strong showings in two of her events, placing seventh in the Women’s Super-G standing and eighth in the Women’s Giant Slalom standing.
Among the NSCD athletes who competed in South Korea this year were three men representing Chile: Diego Seguel, Nicholas Bisquertt and Julio Soto. Bisquertt competed in five events during the games and took a ninth place finish in the Men’s Slalom sitting and a 13th place finish in the Men’s downhill sitting. Soto competed in two events and posted a 28th place finish in the Men’s Giant Slalom standing. Seguel was scheduled to compete in two events but did not finish his allotted runs in either event.
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After their soccer game Saturday, the Grand County Wildcats suited up for a very different type of game.