Up in the mountains at the Rosa Khutor alpine center, three Americans made it to the podium on the first day of alpine skiing.
In the women’s standing class, Allison Jones won bronze, her first Winter medal since taking a gold in slalom in 2006. Allison was totally upbeat after the race. “I came here to have fun,” she said, “and I’ve had a blast.”
And she has another distinction: Alison’s medal today was the first American medal of the Winter Games. Allison also won.
Are Allison’s fast starts a good luck charm for Team USA? Later in the day, Alana Nichols took silver in the women’s sitting race, coming in .14 seconds behind Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber. Laurie Stephens was close behind, taking the bronze. Both these women are also adding to their medals collection: Alana has four skiing medals from Vancouver 2010, plus a gold in wheelchair basketball from Beijing 2008. Laurie has won a downhill medal at every Paralympic Winter Games since 2006.
Rain and warm temperatures have been a real worry for the skiers, and several athletes in the men’s sitting races missed gates or crashed, including one serious crash for Tyler Walker of New Hampshire. But both Nichols and Jones said conditions were good for their races.