Juneau's Tompkins misses medal for USA in final run

Tompkins and team USA leave Europe on February 12 to compete at the Alpine Skiing NorAm competitions in Kimberley, British Columbia

The USA National Alpine/Paralympic SkiTeam’s Joe Tompkins, from Juneau, raced in the Giant Slalom on Thursday in Tignes France.


The race, part of the International Paralympics Committee Alpine Skiing Europa Cup, is not one of Tompkins events.

“A big fat zero,” Tompkins said from France of his finish. “I skidded out of course.”

The USA team is trying to lure Tompkins into that event as well as to continue in his Downhill Sitting events. Tompkins is rated third in the world for the downhill events but the Super Combine and Giant Slalom are newer to him.

“I came into a corner turn a little to hot,” Tompkins said. “I got low and late and almost got back on the course but the soft snow wouldn’t allow the big pressure turn. The snow gave way. If it was a little harder snow, like the rest of the course, I might have made it. I love the downhill’s, but European downhill courses have more turns.”

Tompkins said he should have inspected the course better and planned for the speed he would be carrying at that point.

Tompkins is through competing in France but the team has skiers still on the courses, so he will be spending some time free skiing and cheering.

The USA team is hoping Tompkins will want to compete in all disciplines on the slopes. Tompkins stated that he might like to try and make the 2014 Paralympics winter games in Sochi, Russia. The commitment will require more hours on the ski slopes.

“I usually golf in the summers or I used to ride my bike,” Tompkins said. “Plus I would hate to give up coaching teams in the summer.”

Currently Tompkins schedule is different from the Team USA schedule because he is a speed skier.

Team USA leaves Europe on February 12 to the Alpine Skiing NorAm competitions in Kimberley, British Columbia and then Aspen, Colo. Coaches are also trying to get Tompkins to attend Super G races in Panorama, Canada and Winter Park, Colo.

Tompkins was the first of a group of monoskiers to compete at a past Winter X Games, but at 6-foot-four and 235-pounds the jumps took their toll.

“I am a big guy,” Tompkins said. “Flying that high is fun but the mono’s can rock and shock and roll.


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