Tompkins earns spot on 2010 Paralympic team

Juneau native will get one last shot at downhill monoski gold

Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010

Juneau mono-skier Joe Tompkins is currently third in the overall World Cup points standings, earning him a spot on the U.S. team for next month's Paralympic games in Vancouver.

The opening ceremonies for the games are March 12, and Tompkins, 41, will compete the next day in the downhill event on the same mountain in Whistler the women are skiing in the ongoing Olympics.

Tompkins, who is currently in Aspen, Colo., getting ready to compete in the World Cup finals in his last Paralympic tune-up, finally found out he made the team at 10 p.m. Tuesday after he had all but given up hope.

"The feeling was weird. Yesterday, I got tired of waiting so I said, 'Forget it. It's not going to happen.' I had my son with me, and the day before they were supposed to send out a letter saying who made the team, so I just figured that I didn't make it," he said. "I started planning a trip to Mexico, but then the head coach called me and said that I made the team."

This will be Tompkins' third and final Paralympic go-round.

"My expectations?" Tompkins chuckled. "I'm saying third time is the charm. I got one more shot, so I guess that's the exciting part."

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