US adaptive skiers compete at Alyeska

Americans captured three of the five downhill races Tuesday, when the 2011 U.S. Adaptive Alpine Championships got started at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood.

Danelle Umstead dominated the women's visually impaired race, winning by more than 11 seconds. Laurie Stephens was equally dominant in the women's sitting race and Christopher Devlin-Young captured the men's sitting race, which boasted the most finishers of the day.

Paralympic alpine skiing is open to athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation, blindness, visual impairment, spinal cord injury, wheelchair users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke. With a rich heritage, downhill racing started as a demonstration event at the 1980 Paralympic Games in Geilo, Norway. Giant slalom was first a demonstration event in 1984.

The alpine disciplines represented during the races include the same events that are contested in Olympic competition: Downhill, slalom, giant slalom and super-G.

Alyeska Resort is hosting the week-long event for the first time in partnership with the U.S. Paralympics and Challenge Alaska.

"Alyeska Resort is proud to be the host venue," said Alyeska Resort Ski Area General Manager Di Hiibner in a press release. "Our experience with the U.S. Alpine Championships in 2004, 2007 and 2009 was so positive, and it will be quite rewarding to be able to contribute to the success of the Adaptive Championships."

Opening ceremony festivities are scheduled for Thursday and will include a special fireworks show around 9:30 p.m. The fireworks will be best viewed from Hotel Alyeska. All races are open to the public.

2011 U.S. Adaptive Nationals

Monday at Alyeska Resort

Downhill 3

Women's Visually Impaired -- 1) Danelle Umstead, U.S., 1:17.73; 2) Staci Mannella, U.S., 1:29.5.

Women's Standing -- 1) Andrea Dziewior, Canada, 1:20.09; 2) Anna Jochemsen, Netherlands, 1:21.69; 3) Jill Wilkinson, U.S., 1:51.13.

Women's Sitting -- 1) Laurie Stephens, U.S., 1:21; 2) Sarah Holm, U.S. 1:51.26.

Men's Standing -- 1) Bart Verbruggen, Netherlands, 1:14.68; 2) Kirk Schornstein, Canada, 1:14.98; 3) Brayden Luscombe, Canada, 1:14.98; 4) Michael Whitney, Canada, 1:16.16; 5) Johathan Lujan, U.S., 1:22.58; 6) Ian Jansing, U.S., 1:23.14; 7) Patrick Parnell, U.S., 1:26.35; 8) Mark Urich, U.S., 1:52.12.

Men's Sitting -- 1) Christopher Devlin-Young, U.S., 1:09.67; 2) Jasmin Bambur, Serbia, 1:10.73; 3) Tyler Walker, U.S., 1:11.61; 4) Arly Velasquez, Mexico, 1:14.6; 5) Josh Dueck, Canada, 1:20.23; 6) Jonas Corneliusson, Sweden, 1:26.31; 7) Caleb Brousseau, Canada, 1:26.58.

Anchorage Daily News