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Paralympics: Rossland's Joines wins bronze medal

Rossland sit skier Kimberly Joines celebrates her Bronze medal win in the women
Rossland sit skier Kimberly Joines celebrates her Bronze medal win in the women's slalom sitting event at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi Russia.
— image credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee

Rossland Paralympian Kimberley Joines settled for bronze in the sit-ski slalom at the Sochi Paralympics after a jury overturned the disqualification of the German skier who now has won gold.

Anna Schaffelhuber was disqualified after the first run of the race Wednesday for not having her outriggers in a stationary and fixed position at the start of the race. She appealed, and was allowed to race the second run while a decision about her appeal was considered.

On Thursday, the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing Board of Appeal overturned the original disqualification, saying “Schaffelhuber had not gained a competitive advantage from her start and therefore should not have been disqualified.”

Her combined time was fast enough to win, bumping her teammate Anna-Lena Forster into second place and Joines into third.

The bronze is the second Paralympic medal of Joines’ 12-year career; she also won bronze in super-G at the Turin 2006 Paralympic Winter Games. The 33-year-old missed out on the 2010 Vancouver Games due to injury.

“This feels pretty good,” Joines said in a release after posting a two-run combined time of two minutes, 15.16 seconds. “It’s a little bittersweet, as some really strong competitors were not racing today for various reasons, but I’m still proud.”

The women’s sitting category featured an action-filled second run, as each racer spent time in first position in the leaderbox before being bumped by the next athlete to navigate the challenging course that was made even tougher by a huge dump of fresh, wet snowfall.

“That race was super tough. Those were actually the toughest conditions I think I’ve ever faced,” said Joines, who is a two-time world champion and has won more than 20 International Paralympic Committee World Cups in her career. “I’ve never had such bumps like that to negotiate, so I guess I handled it well enough. I definitely had to keep my focus and not get hung up on the mistakes I made.”

Joines will race again on Sunday in the Giant Slalom, while Ian Lockey, also of Rossland, raced Friday in snowboard cross.

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