April 4 - Heidi Jo Duce, Evan Strong and Joseph Chandler have ended the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing (IPCAS) snowboard cross season with gold medals as the three Americans topped the podium in their respective events at the US Snowboard Cross National Championships.
Nineteen men and seven women – including five athletes from outside of the United States – competed in the event at Copper Mountain, Colorado, with less than one year to go until the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, where the discipline will debut for athletes lower limb impairments.
Duce had the winning overall time of 1min 50.32sec in the women's lower limb impairment race and, despite having the fastest times on the first and third runs, Amy Purdy came in three-hundredths of a second behind in 1:50.35 to finish second ahead of Nicole Roundy who came third with 2:11.72.
Strong (pictured top), the 2012 Para snowboard cross world champion, had the fastest times in the second and third runs to take gold in the men's lower limb impairment class in 1:23.25.
Tyler Burdick came second finishing in 1:35.11 and Keith Gabel had the third-fastest time of 1:35.16.
Chandler had the fastest time of 1:40.60 in the men's upper-limb impairment class, which will not be on the Paralympic programme at Sochi 2014, ahead of brothers Fatu and Samoana Matagi, who finished second in 1:52.18 and third in 2:15.67 respectively.
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May 2012: Para-snowboarding to make Paralympic debut at Sochi 2014 Games