Team USA women snagged the first medals on day one of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Alana Nichols won silver, and Laurie Stephens and Allison Jones won bronze in the women’s downhill competitions at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center near Sochi, Russia.
In a very competitive ski sitting race, Nichols won a silver medal crossing the finish line 14 seconds behind gold medal winner from Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany. Stephens kept her time close to follow Nichols at 1:36.94 to take the bronze. In the standing class Jones won her first downhill ski medal with a bronze, crossing the line at 1:34.88, just an 0.14 of a second shy of the silver.
All of the women winning today are seasoned Paralympians. Nichols has five previous Paralympic medals; four from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, and gold in wheelchair basketball from the 2008 Beijing 2008 Paralympics. Stephens has five previous medals in alpine skiing, from each Paralympic Winter Game since 2006. Jones has been competing in both winter and summer Paralympic games since 2002 and has a stunning seven previous Paralympic medals, Jones competes in both cycling and alpine skiing events, with today’s bronze being her eighth medal.